Destiny Clennett, 13, was one of eight students from Northern Lights School of Dance (NLSD) to attend the 13th World Congress of Dance and the Child International (daCi) in Copenhagen, Denmark in July.
I was five when I started dancing, and ballet was my first dance class. It was fun and exciting.
When I was a little older, I wished that I would be able to dance around the world. My wish came true this summer when I got to dance outside Canada for the first time.
Along with seven other dancers, I left early in the morning of July 3 for the wonderful city of Copenhagen.
We had to stop in Vancouver to switch planes. After breakfast at the White Spot, we got on an Icelandair flight to Iceland. The flight was seven hours, but we didn’t get bored. There were TVs on the plane, plus we got lots of sleep.
When we arrived in Reykjavik, a bus took us to the airport door. After some food and a bathroom break, we all met at the door to get on a different plane to Copenhagen.
Everyone was happy and excited, but also sleepy. On the plane, I sat with two of my friends, talking and watching movies.
By the time we got to Copenhagen it was already 12 noon on July 4. Once everyone had their luggage, we walked outside to get a bus. There were people walking in every direction, but no one got lost, and everyone got on the bus just fine.
On the way to our hostel we saw lots of houses, people on bikes and a lot of cars. I couldn’t wait to see what our hostel would look like. Would it have brick walls, or painted ones?
Once we got there, I saw that the door was glass and the walls were like what we have in Whitehorse.
As we waited outside for our dance teacher to get the room keys, we noticed that we were staying right next to a outdoor swimming pool. When we got to our rooms, we unpacked our clothes into lockers and just relaxed for the rest of the day.
The line up for breakfast at 8 a.m. the next day was very long. After breakfast we took a bus down to the place where would do our dance classes.
The classrooms were small, but really cool. One looked like a gym. The classes were lots of fun, and I made three friends the first day, two from New York and one from China.
After classes and lunch in the studio, we had an hour until we had to perform our dance.
When the time came, I was nervous to face the people of Copenhagen on stage, but I remembered that I dance in front of more people in Whitehorse than here. The stage was small, and the audience was very small.
During the dance, I was in front of two girls in my line. As I was dancing I forgot my counts and thought I would mess up badly. I was so happy when one dancer’s mom said I didn’t mess up at all.
We were all a little hungry so our dance teacher took us to a store next door, where I bought an orange and an apple. We went back to the studio to eat, and performed again an hour later, then went back to the hostel to shower and sleep.
After breakfast the next morning, we took a bus to dance class again. I was in a ballet class with two other girls from our group, and we went upstairs to find our classroom.
Outside the classrooms, there were two couches by the wall and a big thing made of metal bars for people to climb on and do front flips on the bar.
Our classroom had a long mirror starting right beside the door, going all the way to the other side of the room. It also had a wooden soft bar going from the second door all the way to the other side.
When ballet started everyone took their place at the bar for a warm up, then we went straight to jumping in the centre of the room in nice lines.
After ballet, we had a class called Creative Meeting Points (CMP). We were divided in groups according to age, and I was in the same group as a friend I dance with in Whitehorse.
On Friday, all the CMP groups performed for the daCi people in a large garden full of trees and flowers, then danced again for the public in the same garden.
Afterward , there was a party where the dancers got to say goodbye to their awesome new friends from different countries. We all cried, but we look forward to seeing each other again at the next daCi in Australia three years from now.
On our last day in Denmark, our dance group went shopping and visited two amazing Royal castles, including the place where Queen Margrethe and her family live in winter. Two guards stood at attention outside.
How do they stand there and stare straight without getting distracted? I definitely couldn’t stand still for hours staring straight ahead. I am used to moving freely and dancing.
On Sunday, we left Copenhagen. It was almost 2 a.m. when we got to Whitehorse, but I was so happy to see my grandparents again, and very happy to be home.