With a gymnasium full of students eagerly anticipating a dance performance by one of their peers, the atmosphere at David Thompson Secondary School was buzzing with excitement.
Although millions of Canadians had already seen the dance group FRESHH perform on the television show "Canada's Got Talent", being able to present their talent to an audience of VSB students meant something important - particularly for David Thompson student Matthew Cortez.
"I'm excited to be able to perform for my school. Dancing has taught me that if you have a passion or dream, just to go for it," says Cortez "Whatever makes you happy will make you into who you are as a person, and I hope that others will follow their dreams too."
With other members of the group attending secondary schools throughout the lower mainland - including Burnaby, Surrey and Maple Ridge - a quick introduction was made before literally jumping into a lively dance performance.
Acrobatic feats (and some very agile feet) helped to propel FRESHH through a set that had the David Thompson crowd emitting audible cheers and words of inspiration throughout.
Principal Iona Whishaw congratulated the talented teenagers and encouraged everyone to "Vote! Vote! Vote!" in support of their fellow student, whose own personal support system has provided motivation to his journey as a dancer.
"I began dancing when I was around 4 years old - I just started to move my arms and legs one day when I heard my brother playing music," he says. " Since joining FRESHH when I was 10, I've just been more confident, outgoing and have made some great friends."
By exchanging the requisite 'judging panel' for a captive audience of students and teachers, any pressures the troupe may have had were hopefully diminished through an overwhelming show of support.
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