Stoney Creek dancer Erika Darling will grace the Pan Am stage

Pan Am Games Jul 20, 2015 by Mike Pearson Stoney Creek News

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Erika Darling isn’t protesting the decision to have Kanye West perform at the Pan Am Games closing ceremonies.

Darling, 15, will have one of the best views of Sunday’s event when she performs in the ceremonies along with 10 other dancers from the Woodgate Shamrock Academy of Irish Dancing in Burlington. The dancers, who are volunteering their time, range in age from 14 to 20.

“I was so excited when I heard that. To be at the same show as Kanye, that would be awesome. I’ve heard a lot of people don’t want him there, but he’s a big name. That would be good publicity for the Pan Ams.”

Darling, a Grade 10 student at Orchard Park Secondary School, is accustomed to dancing in front of audiences of hundreds at recitals, St. Patrick’s Day parades, weddings and corporate events.

This time she’ll be performing in front of tens of thousands in what’s shaping up to be one of the hottest tickets of the Pan Am Games.

“I’m excited,” Darling said. “We’re used to dancing in crowds, so a bigger crowd is definitely different, but I’m excited for it.”

A sell-out crowd is anticipated for the July 26 closing ceremonies at Toronto’s Rogers Centre. The event begins at 6:45 p.m.

Tickets listed this week on Stub Hub were selling for between $99 and $561.

The closing ceremonies will be Darling’s first time dancing on TV. The event will be carried coast-to-coast by CBC Television, the official Games broadcaster.

Darling and the Woodgate dancers will be performing in the Parapan Am Games opening ceremonies as well on Aug.7.

Darling recently returned from the 2015 North American Irish Dance Championship in Providence, Rhode Island. Over 4,000 dancers competed, according to an article in the Providence Journal.

Her goal is to eventually qualify for the world championships. She’s been perfecting her Irish dancing skils for about nine years.

Darling was too young to remember at the time, but her mom Kelly recalled how her daughter was first attracted to the high-energy form of dance while watching a Riverdance DVD.

“It’s non-stop,” said Darling. “Once you’re on stage, you’re dancing for the full time.”

Irish dancing can be performed individually, by couples, or by groups of four or more.

Traditional Irish step dancers keep their arms straight and rigid. Along with fast-paced, highly syncronized and energetic performances, Irish dancing is known for its high leg kicks.

Dancers Lillian Pich, Katelyn Watson, Erin-Louise Reynolds, Isabel Gamus, Caelin Kuder, Jillian Harvey, Laura Devine, Caoimhe Conlon, Rachel Delaney and Courtney Moloney will join Darling on the Pan Am stage.

The dancers are led by Paula Woodgate, Katie Dennis and Grainne Bryson.

Performers recently went to CBC studios in Toronto to sign all of the required paperwork and pick up their event credentials and ID badges. They will spend upwards of 60 hours this week alone, rehearsing their Pan Am routine.

As for the performance itself, the dancers cannot reveal any details prior to the event, such as the type of routine, music or the costumes they will wear.

For Darling, the magnitude of her performance hasn’t quite set in yet. But her Pan Am experience should be something she’ll blissfully remember decades from now.

“By then it’ll probably hit me like, ‘Wow, I was in the Pan Am Games,’” she said.

Event organizers recently announced Kanye, Serena Ryder and Pitbull will perform at the closing ceremonies. A petition asking organizers to replace Kanye with a Canadian talent had garnered more than 18,000 signatures as of Monday.

Stoney Creek dancer Erika Darling will grace the Pan Am stage

Pan Am Games Jul 20, 2015 by Mike Pearson Stoney Creek News

Chevrolet Logo

Erika Darling isn’t protesting the decision to have Kanye West perform at the Pan Am Games closing ceremonies.

Darling, 15, will have one of the best views of Sunday’s event when she performs in the ceremonies along with 10 other dancers from the Woodgate Shamrock Academy of Irish Dancing in Burlington. The dancers, who are volunteering their time, range in age from 14 to 20.

“I was so excited when I heard that. To be at the same show as Kanye, that would be awesome. I’ve heard a lot of people don’t want him there, but he’s a big name. That would be good publicity for the Pan Ams.”

Darling, a Grade 10 student at Orchard Park Secondary School, is accustomed to dancing in front of audiences of hundreds at recitals, St. Patrick’s Day parades, weddings and corporate events.

This time she’ll be performing in front of tens of thousands in what’s shaping up to be one of the hottest tickets of the Pan Am Games.

“I’m excited,” Darling said. “We’re used to dancing in crowds, so a bigger crowd is definitely different, but I’m excited for it.”

A sell-out crowd is anticipated for the July 26 closing ceremonies at Toronto’s Rogers Centre. The event begins at 6:45 p.m.

Tickets listed this week on Stub Hub were selling for between $99 and $561.

The closing ceremonies will be Darling’s first time dancing on TV. The event will be carried coast-to-coast by CBC Television, the official Games broadcaster.

Darling and the Woodgate dancers will be performing in the Parapan Am Games opening ceremonies as well on Aug.7.

Darling recently returned from the 2015 North American Irish Dance Championship in Providence, Rhode Island. Over 4,000 dancers competed, according to an article in the Providence Journal.

Her goal is to eventually qualify for the world championships. She’s been perfecting her Irish dancing skils for about nine years.

Darling was too young to remember at the time, but her mom Kelly recalled how her daughter was first attracted to the high-energy form of dance while watching a Riverdance DVD.

“It’s non-stop,” said Darling. “Once you’re on stage, you’re dancing for the full time.”

Irish dancing can be performed individually, by couples, or by groups of four or more.

Traditional Irish step dancers keep their arms straight and rigid. Along with fast-paced, highly syncronized and energetic performances, Irish dancing is known for its high leg kicks.

Dancers Lillian Pich, Katelyn Watson, Erin-Louise Reynolds, Isabel Gamus, Caelin Kuder, Jillian Harvey, Laura Devine, Caoimhe Conlon, Rachel Delaney and Courtney Moloney will join Darling on the Pan Am stage.

The dancers are led by Paula Woodgate, Katie Dennis and Grainne Bryson.

Performers recently went to CBC studios in Toronto to sign all of the required paperwork and pick up their event credentials and ID badges. They will spend upwards of 60 hours this week alone, rehearsing their Pan Am routine.

As for the performance itself, the dancers cannot reveal any details prior to the event, such as the type of routine, music or the costumes they will wear.

For Darling, the magnitude of her performance hasn’t quite set in yet. But her Pan Am experience should be something she’ll blissfully remember decades from now.

“By then it’ll probably hit me like, ‘Wow, I was in the Pan Am Games,’” she said.

Event organizers recently announced Kanye, Serena Ryder and Pitbull will perform at the closing ceremonies. A petition asking organizers to replace Kanye with a Canadian talent had garnered more than 18,000 signatures as of Monday.

Stoney Creek dancer Erika Darling will grace the Pan Am stage

Pan Am Games Jul 20, 2015 by Mike Pearson Stoney Creek News

Chevrolet Logo

Erika Darling isn’t protesting the decision to have Kanye West perform at the Pan Am Games closing ceremonies.

Darling, 15, will have one of the best views of Sunday’s event when she performs in the ceremonies along with 10 other dancers from the Woodgate Shamrock Academy of Irish Dancing in Burlington. The dancers, who are volunteering their time, range in age from 14 to 20.

“I was so excited when I heard that. To be at the same show as Kanye, that would be awesome. I’ve heard a lot of people don’t want him there, but he’s a big name. That would be good publicity for the Pan Ams.”

Darling, a Grade 10 student at Orchard Park Secondary School, is accustomed to dancing in front of audiences of hundreds at recitals, St. Patrick’s Day parades, weddings and corporate events.

This time she’ll be performing in front of tens of thousands in what’s shaping up to be one of the hottest tickets of the Pan Am Games.

“I’m excited,” Darling said. “We’re used to dancing in crowds, so a bigger crowd is definitely different, but I’m excited for it.”

A sell-out crowd is anticipated for the July 26 closing ceremonies at Toronto’s Rogers Centre. The event begins at 6:45 p.m.

Tickets listed this week on Stub Hub were selling for between $99 and $561.

The closing ceremonies will be Darling’s first time dancing on TV. The event will be carried coast-to-coast by CBC Television, the official Games broadcaster.

Darling and the Woodgate dancers will be performing in the Parapan Am Games opening ceremonies as well on Aug.7.

Darling recently returned from the 2015 North American Irish Dance Championship in Providence, Rhode Island. Over 4,000 dancers competed, according to an article in the Providence Journal.

Her goal is to eventually qualify for the world championships. She’s been perfecting her Irish dancing skils for about nine years.

Darling was too young to remember at the time, but her mom Kelly recalled how her daughter was first attracted to the high-energy form of dance while watching a Riverdance DVD.

“It’s non-stop,” said Darling. “Once you’re on stage, you’re dancing for the full time.”

Irish dancing can be performed individually, by couples, or by groups of four or more.

Traditional Irish step dancers keep their arms straight and rigid. Along with fast-paced, highly syncronized and energetic performances, Irish dancing is known for its high leg kicks.

Dancers Lillian Pich, Katelyn Watson, Erin-Louise Reynolds, Isabel Gamus, Caelin Kuder, Jillian Harvey, Laura Devine, Caoimhe Conlon, Rachel Delaney and Courtney Moloney will join Darling on the Pan Am stage.

The dancers are led by Paula Woodgate, Katie Dennis and Grainne Bryson.

Performers recently went to CBC studios in Toronto to sign all of the required paperwork and pick up their event credentials and ID badges. They will spend upwards of 60 hours this week alone, rehearsing their Pan Am routine.

As for the performance itself, the dancers cannot reveal any details prior to the event, such as the type of routine, music or the costumes they will wear.

For Darling, the magnitude of her performance hasn’t quite set in yet. But her Pan Am experience should be something she’ll blissfully remember decades from now.

“By then it’ll probably hit me like, ‘Wow, I was in the Pan Am Games,’” she said.

Event organizers recently announced Kanye, Serena Ryder and Pitbull will perform at the closing ceremonies. A petition asking organizers to replace Kanye with a Canadian talent had garnered more than 18,000 signatures as of Monday.