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Northern Alberta dancers going Dance World Cups Finals in Prague

Lac La Biche dancers ready to compete for Canada on world stage in Prague

A trio of Lac La Biche dancers will be showcasing their skills on the international stage at the Dance World Cup Finals in Prague, Czech Republic, from June 27 to July 6.  

Kaylin Beniuk, Maya Fortin, and Kennedy Hughes, who train with the Northern Beat Dance Academy in Lac La Biche, will be joining thousands of other dancers from around the world for the competition. According to Dance World Cup officials, this is the largest dance competition for young dancers in the world, with more than 9,500 dancers from 54 countries attending during the 10-day event. It is held in a different location each year.  

Just like the Olympics, dancers compete for gold, silver, and bronze medals.  

Kennedy Hughes is 16 and has been training with Northern Beat since she was four. While she hopes to come home with an award or two, she is also grateful to represent Canada, and her hometown of Lac La Biche, on the world stage.  

While in Prague, she will be performing in a lyrical group as well as a Hip Hop group. 

“I'm very excited to be a part of this team, to make new friends and experience a whole new place,” Hughes told Lakeland This Week 

Like her fellow Lac La Biche dancers, Hughes was selected to go to Prague through World Performers Canada (WPC). She auditioned for a spot on the team. Her Northern Beat teammates Fortin and Beniuk received invitations during the dance competition Standing Ovation, which took place in Edmonton in 2023.  

On June 23, Hughes, Fortin, and Beniuk will fly to Toronto, where they will meet up with the other teams from across the country – all representing Canada at the Dance World Cup Finals. While in Toronto, they will have one final practice on a stage as well as a national team photo before flying to Prague on June 25.  

When Fortin goes to the Dance World Cup Finals, she will be dancing in jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and hip hop, performing seven dances in total through her various styles. Fortin, who is 15, has been dancing since the age of three, and competing since she was five. 

In preparation for the Dance World Cup Finals, she has been training with national coaches and does cardio conditioning. Furthermore, each month, she meets with multiple national trainers to learn and perfect her choreography.  

When asked how she feels about earning her spot, Fortin says she is super proud of herself, adding that this is the culmination of several years of intensive work to perfect her sport.  

“Dance is a discipline that allows me to develop my physical and artistic skills,” she said. “It’s an experience of a lifetime…dancing on an international stage is exceptional and a validation that all the work, the efforts, and sacrifices that I made for my sport were not in vain. For me, just having the chance to participate in this event is a success on all levels.” 

Lisa Beniuk, the mom of Kaylin Beniuk, said her daughter, who is 12, danced five days a week this season practicing different genres of dance. Even though the local dance season is finished, Kaylin continues to practice her dance for Prague on a regular basis at home, Lisa explained, adding that while in Prague, she will dance on the hip-hop team.  

Beniuk continued by saying that her daughter is very excited to compete on the world stage for dance.  

“She is thankful for the opportunity to travel and experience other styles of dances from around the world,” she said.  

Beniuk said her daughter recently received another automatic team Canada placement for the 2025 jazz team with World Performers Canada at the World Cup in Europe next year. The location of the event will be announced during the closing ceremonies in Prague.  

Last year’s Dance Word Cup was held in Spain. The 2022 finals were held in Portugal. 

Win or lose, Hughes said the chance for the local dancers to perform on a world stage – and for her, in a part of the world she has never been to, is already a golden opportunity. 

 “The experience of representing my country on a large stage like this, will be my reward.” 

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