Skip to content

Newmarket dancers compete with Team Canada Dance on world stage

5 young dancers from iDance studio are heading to Egypt this fall to compete
Maya Bendelac (from left), Kaylee Welsh, Tori Muxlow, Ava Rose Dimma, and Abby Bendelac of iDance will be competing internationally this fall.

Five talented dancers from the iDance studio in Newmarket will be competing with Team Canada Dance on the world stage in Egypt later this fall. 

At the end of November and into December, Team Canada Dance will be competing in the International Dance Organization's ballet, jazz and modern and contemporary championships, which are being held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. 

Abby Bendelac, 15, Maya Bendelac, 13, Ava Rose Dimma, 16, Tori Muxlow, 17, and Kaylee Welsh, 14, are all members of the competitive program at iDance. 

The Newmarket-based studio offers classes for kids from age three to adults, both competitive and recreational. It was opened 14 years ago by sisters Rhonda Dimma and Jenny Cairney, who grew up dancing and wanted to share their love and passion for dance with the Newmarket community. 

"My sister and I, we are absolutely thrilled and excited for these five girls. It's a lot of work, a lot of commitment, a lot of long hours of dancing, and it's just going to be an amazing experience for them to compete overseas on a world stage," said Dimma. 

The girls auditioned for Team Canada Dance this past spring and all were accepted. They began rehearsing with the team in July and continue to train with them regularly. 

"It's been pretty heavy since then, with lots of long rehearsals, but they've loved every minute of it. It's a different experience because they're working with world-class choreographers and getting used to doing things differently than we do at our studio," Dimma said. 

For one of the dancers, Tori Muxlow, it has been a busy but exciting journey. 

"It has been quite a whirlwind. The practices have been so awesome and the team has got super close, super fast. I've been really feeling involved in it and really appreciated for how much I've worked for as a dancer," she said. 

She began at iDance when she was just three years old and does a number of different dance styles, but especially modern and contemporary. She will be competing in ballet, jazz, and contemporary at the international event this fall. 

Tori is looking forward to seeing other dancers from the different countries and teams competing and seeing their routines. She said "being able to travel and meet dancers from around the world is an unbelievable experience."

For Tori, dance is a big experience in her life and a big part of who she is. Not only does she train regularly at iDance but she is also part of the dance program at Huron Height Secondary School in Newmarket and wants to teach dance after she has finished school. 

"[Dance] has kind of been a safe place for me. I've grown up in it and I can't imagine life without having it. And experiencing the moments that I can express myself, enjoy life, talk about feelings and the teamwork that I can build with other team members and other dancers," she said. 

Tori is also excited about getting to take this upcoming international adventure with the four other girls from her home studio of iDance. 

"They are all so talented as well and I'm blessed to be able to experience all of this with them," she said. 

One of those dancers is Ava Rose Dimma, who is Rhonda Dimma's daughter. Like Tori, she has been dancing at the studio since she was three and will be competing in all the styles of dance at the international competition. 

When asked what she loves most about dancing, she said, "I love that I get to obviously be with my friends and do what I love." 

For Ava Rose, as with all five of the girls, this is her first time competing with Team Canada Dance and while she said it was a big adjustment at first, she has got comfortable with everything and is having fun. 

"I'm very proud of her. I'm super excited, also to share the journey with her because each dancer has to bring along a chaperone so of course, the moms are going, too. I wouldn't want to miss that one," Dimma said. 

This means she will get to watch Ava Rose and the others from her studio dance live, which she said means a lot since most of them have been at iDance for at least 10 years. 

"We've got to watch them grow up and train and mould into these beautiful young ladies and dancers," she said. 

This is not the first time the studio has had girls compete with Team Canada Dance, however, it is the first time in a couple of years as the pandemic has prevented international competitions from taking place. The competitions will be in Egypt from Nov. 28 to Dec. 4. 

Reader Feedback

Elizabeth Keith

About the Author: Elizabeth Keith

Elizabeth Keith is a general assignment reporter. She graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2017. Elizabeth is passionate about telling local stories and creating community.
Read more