Meet Janelle MacFarlane - September 2013 Judges' Choice Winner

I was 13 when the "Tightrope" video was shot, but I am 15 now and have been dancing since I was 3 years old at Dance Co (, which is run by director Marlowe Windsor in Vancouver, BC. I started dancing competitively when I was 7, not just in tap, but in ballet and jazz too. Over the years, I have added lyrical, contemporary, modern, pointe, hip hop, acro and stage to my repertoire and am now training 25 hours per week in Dance Co's Professional Half-Day program, which I absolutely love. I go to school in the mornings (I'm in 10th grade) and then head to the studio (my home away from home) in the afternoon. Ever since I started competitions when I was 7, I loved them and knew I wanted to continue doing them for a long time.  All of my dance competitions have been within the province of BC but I have also had the amazing opportunity to go to New York for the Tap City Festival and train under Derrick Grant.  For my tap training, there is one teacher that I have worked closely with since I was very little, and she has really helped me to improve over the years. Her name is Gaylene Burton, and she has choreographed a tap solo for me every year since I was 8 (including Tightrope). Also, I'd like to mention my other tap teacher, Dayna Szyndrowski. She has taught me a lot of my tap technique and has pushed me more recently in my training by taking me to a tap improvisation jam, and giving me other tap dance opportunities. I of course also have many other teachers that I love and look up to in all the other styles of dance at my studio. In the future, I hope to have a career involving dance, and am considering doing a university program in dance. When I was younger, I would always say "I want to be a dance teacher when I grow up!" and I can't say that I have ever changed my mind. It still sounds like something I would love to do in addition to hopefully being a professional dancer, as I love inspiring younger dancers and spending time with kids. Seeing other amazing dancers in the studio and at competition really motivates me to keep working hard and doing what I love. I am also really inspired when I watch professional dance shows. After seeing a show, I can't wait to get back to the studio and work hard to improve as a dancer. 


Thanks again for the great news!