‘Outbreak 2019’ event review
By Sonam Kaloti, Arts Editor
Outbreak 2019 was held at Chandos Pattison Auditorium on April 27. The competition features high school dance teams from all over School District 36 (Surrey). The judges this year were Shauna Smith, Francis Aranton, Dana Dixon, Toni Shenfield, Carmen Forsyth, and Victor Tran—all reputable names in the Lower Mainland’s dance community.
I find that high school concert band performances, art shows, and even sports competitions pale in comparison to the energy demonstrated at any dance event. Every school cheers vigorously for their own teams but also for every other team to grace the stage. The spirit of event-goers is loud and supports hollering during dances to continuously hype the performers up.
Though I’m no dance adjudicator, there were some very memorable dances showcased in the event. I found the themed ones stood out among the dozens of performances but strangely these were mostly done by the beginner and intermediate classes.
I may be biased when I say my favourite performance in the show was by Panorama Ridge’s beginner class, “Stranger Things.” Not because I went to that school but because Stranger Things is one of my favourite shows. Though, since this performance won gold and the Judge’s Choice award, I may not be so biased after all. The mix included the show’s soundtrack as well as soundbites from characters as transitions. The dancers were clad in costumes of either the main characters or of the Demogorgon monsters. The dance itself followed the show’s plotline, beginning with Will’s disappearance and so on.
Dance holds a special place in my heart because of how it can portray vast and unexplainable emotions. Kwantlen Park’s advanced class did just that with their piece titled, “For Our Loved Ones.” Picture frames were positioned at the front of the stage with portraits of (presumably) the dancers’ deceased loved ones. The contemporary dance featured the dancers going up to the portraits and placing white flowers in front of them.
The competition was wrapped up by North Surrey’s senior hip-hop team. Their piece—titled “Honouring SD36”—was a tribute to the many iconic dances that have graced the Outbreak stage along the years. They began by performing part of Fleetwood Park’s 2015 piece, moving on to Sullivan Heights for 2016, Kwantlen Park for 2017, Queen Elizabeth for 2018, and finally for 2019 North Surrey continued the rest of their own choreography.
All teams put on an impressive show regardless of experience. Outbreak overall was a refreshing experience highlighting a thriving and passionate community coming together to celebrate each other’s accomplishments.