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Local dancers compete for Canada in Croatia

Collingwood's Rylie Gorman and Clearview's Aenea Lakmaaker are part of Team Canada Dance and will be competing at the world championship tap competition next week
Rylie Gorman and Aenea Lakmaaker will compete on the Team Canada Children’s Tap Team in Croatia at the end of the month.

Two local dancers are off to Croatia next week to compete with Team Canada Dance at the International Dance Organization World Tap Championships.

Rylie Gorman, 11, from Collingwood, and Aenea Lakmaaker, 12, from Clearview, dance together on the full-time competitive dance team at The DanceRoom.

“I love to dance. Dance is my happy place. If I am ever feeling overwhelmed, when I start dancing it all floats away,” said Gorman. 

The girls were invited to join the Team Canada dance team after attending a tap dance camp last summer and have spent more than hours over the past 12 weeks learning choreography and preparing for their performance since August. 

“It feels amazing! I don’t even know how to express it,” said Gorman. “I am shocked that we even were invited to dance with the team. I am really glad that we got this opportunity. I am just hoping that we do the best that we ever can, fingers crossed we do well.”

Both girls have been dancing for as long as they can remember. They met when they started dancing at The DanceRoom a few years ago. They also attend Admiral Collingwood Elementary School together. 

"One of my favourite things about dance is the community. I have made so many close friends from dancing,” said Lakmaaker.

The World Tap Championships run from Nov. 23 to 28 and the girls are excited to travel across the world together. In Croatia, Gorman and Lakmaaker will compete with Team Canada Children’s Tap Team in formation, production, small group and Gorman will also compete as a soloist.

"It feels amazing to be representing Canada because this is what I love and being able to represent my country doing what I love just makes the experience ten times better,” said Lakmaaker.

They are also very thankful for the new friends and experiences dance has given them.

“I have been able to experience a new way to dance, getting to go places where I probably would never get to go in my lifetime, I probably would never go to Croatia,” said Gorman.

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Maddie Johnson

About the Author: Maddie Johnson

Maddie Johnson is an early career journalist working in financial, small business, adventure and lifestyle reporting. She studied Journalism at the University of King's College, and worked in Halifax, Malta and Costa Rica before settling in Collingwood
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