Kwantlen student dances her way to the top 14

September 21, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Nathalie Heath dances

Nathalie Heath dances with her partner Mackenzie Green on So You Think You Can Dance Canada. (Photo by CTV)

They say the third time’s the charm, and for Kwantlen student Nathalie Heath, her third audition to be on CTV’s So You Think You Can Dance Canada landed her one of the coveted top 22 spots.

And she isn’t looking back. Now a part of the show’s top 14, Heath is living her dream and forging her future.

“It’s been awesome; I’ve had such a good experience,” she said.

The 23-year-old Surrey-ite is two years into her business management degree, but has taken time off from Kwantlen to pursue her opportunity.

“I just really wanted to make the most of it, and whether I win or not doesn’t really matter,” Heath explained.

She is no stranger to fame and exposure. Heath was a lead dancer in Michael Bublé’s “Haven’t Met You Yet” music video, and danced in the 2010 Olympic opening ceremonies during Sarah McLachlan’s performance. However, she says her experience on So You Think You Can Dance Canada is unique.

“When you’re doing a music video or you’re doing a job, […] you’re kind of like wallpaper. Like at the opening ceremonies, I was dancing for Sarah McLachlan and obviously the cameras were more on [her] than they were on me,” Heath said.

“[This show] is definitely such a great way of exposing yourself to people and film and TV, and to network.”

Jean Marc Généreux, a permanent judge on the show, agrees that the show provides dancers with numerous opportunities.

“I think it’s an amazing platform,” he said. “It’s pivotal in their lives and instrumental for their futures.”

But the experience doesn’t come without difficulties: Heath has been in Toronto for six weeks, away from family and friends. And rehearsals are relentless.

“The most difficult aspect is the fact that we never get a break. We dance every day, and we never have a day off. “I’ve learnt that I’m a lot tougher skinned than I thought I was. [But] I haven’t really had a breakdown,” she joked.

Heath’s hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Généreux, a seasoned ballroom dancer who has won all of the major ballroom championships in North America and has competed in 10 world championships, sees Heath’s potential.

“People will remember her. She’s on the show to stay. This girl is going nowhere. She’s here, we want her, we’re going to keep her, and is an amazing [performer],” he said.

So You Think You Can Dance Canada airs Wednesdays and Thursdays on CTV: Dancers perform their routines on Wednesday, and Thursday is the voting results show.

And voting is crucial. Each week, the three dance couples with the fewest number of votes is placed in the bottom three, and are put at risk of being eliminated from the show.

Regardless, Heath knows it’s the experience that counts.

“This show doesn’t define me,” she said. “We get to really be in the spotlight and we are the show and we have a fan base and we get to showcase our personalities and it’s so much fun. [But] I honestly just want to dance.”

It could not have been better

March 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

What just happened?

The long-awaited creation and permanent entrenchment of an accurate and patriotic Canadian identity is what just happened.

The 17 days of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games achieved what 142 years of being a country could not: a sense of belonging among Canadians, a connection between east and west and most importantly, a clear definition of what and who Canada is.

As I got carried away in seas of red and white Cowichan sweaters that clogged up the streets of Vancouver every day I ventured downtown, I realized for the first time in my life that I am proud to be Canadian.

I’m not a sports fanatic, but I cried along with the thousands of others present as Joannie Rochette skated a bronze medal performance just days after her mother died.

I’ve hardly watched hockey, but I sat on the edge of my seat and shouted at the TV screen as Team Canada played Team USA in overtime.

I am one for fashion, but despite that I wore my two-fingered woolly Canadian mittens with an awkward sort of pride.

Sure the buildings, Canada Line and other infrastructure built to accommodate the various Olympic events are wonderful spinoff benefits of having the games in Vancouver. And the worldwide promotion of our city and the millions earned in revenue are great, too.

But having the games in our hometown, more than anything else, has given us the right to be patriotic, and the desire to show the world that we are Canadian.

And why shouldn’t we be proud?

There’s nothing wrong with beer, hockey, being a little chilly once in a while and cute furry little creatures.

And the fact that a country with the population size of the state of California can dominate the gold medal count on an international level is nothing to scoff at.

What just happened was the awakening of a fiercely-loyal, fiercely-patriotic and highly-competitive nation that has finally been brought together as one.

Watch out world, we are Canadian.

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