Larissa Bedford (right) and Jaiden Lyons (left). June 2, 2018. (Photo by Sarah Cowan Blackburn News Chatham-Kent).

Local Dancers Win Spot On Team Canada, Full Scholarship

A pair of young local dancers have made it to the big leagues.

16-year-old Larissa Bedford from Chatham has made the Team Canada Dance Team and 19-year-old Jaiden Lyons from Windsor has been offered a full-admission scholarship to study dance in Hollywood this fall.

Bedford says she was asked to be on the Team Canada Dance Team at her last competition in Niagara Falls.

“I was doing my jazz solo on heels for the first time,” says Bedford. “I was sitting in the restaurant and a person from the Team Canada came up to me and they offered me a spot on the team for jazz and ballet.”

Bedford has been training at PURE Academy, a dance school in Chatham, for the past ten years. She says she’s really excited for this new opportunity.

“In August, I train and learn all the choreography for it. Then I go to Poland and represent Canada there,” says Bedford. “I hope to make lots of connections with people from Toronto.”

Lyons says she won the scholarship after going to an audition with her dance academy.

“At the REVEL Dance Convention, I went with my studio PURE Academy, we had this audition it was for a school,” says Lyons. “We were really intrigued by it, because obviously after you’re done dance, you want to do more dance after being competitive… and with my age, I really wanted to go to a university for dance.”

Lyons says the school she will be attending is called Studio School in Los Angeles.

“I’m very honoured that I got it. I’m super happy. I handed everything in and they’re giving me roughly about $27,000 a year in scholarship money,” says Lyons. “They said that it was the highest scholarship that they gave out that year.

Lyons says she has been training at PURE Academy for about two years. She says she loves every style of dance, but her favourite is contemporary.