MONTREAL, OCTOBER 21, 2011- JP Dubé, the 20-year old sensation who made it as a top 14 finalist in the most recent edition of CTV’s So You Think You Can Dance Canada (SYTYCDC), spent some time with more than 300 dance students of LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent recently.
Dubé just completed his CEGEP studies at Collège de Bois-de-Boulogne and says his career plan was to begin studying architecture at the Universite de Montreal this year. “That is on hold right now,” the St. Laurent told students. “I think I want to see what I can do in dance. My grades are strong enough that I will still have the architectural studies to fall back upon.”
JP was given a thunderous ovation when he entered the LaurenHill Auditorium to the So You Think You Can Dance Canada theme music. He was formally welcomed by one of the school’s senior dance instructors, Céline Ranger, who had a number of her students present a special performance for JP during which he served as judge. JP then did a number with the students, showcased some of his own moves in a solo presentation, answered questions and posed for photos.
A spectacular hip hop dancer, Dubé credits his hard work, concentration and passion for dance for boosting him into SYTYCDC’s Top 22 and staying on until the Top 14 round. “After wanting it for so long and completely dedicating myself to reach this goal, it felt totally surreal and it took me awhile to really realize that I had made it,” said JP.
Unlike other competitors on SYTYCDC, JP did not start dancing until his early teens; however, he says “it was an instant love!” Since then, he has participated in many workshops and trained at various studios in Montreal, practicing different styles of dance including hip-hop at Studio A, ballet with Sonia Belazovjeh, and ballroom with Season 1 alumni Danny Arbour.
The LaurenHill Academy Dance Department started in 1983, by two teachers, Vikki Myrianthis and Francine Lacroix, in a classroom of the then St. Laurent High School and was meant to be a lunch dance club. Twenty-eight years later it has evolved into a unique program integrated into the regular curriculum. There is also an intensive after school program wherein guest instructors offer the students the opportunity to learn a variety of dance styles--- ballet, jazz, hip-hop, modern, pointe, stepping and tap dance. Some of the activities of the program have been the Dance Festival, several evening shows featuring student choreographers and a trip to Toronto with the OuiDance troupe. The dance program has two goals: to instill the discipline and commitment required to become a good dancer; and secondly, to foster a lifetime appreciation for the arts. A large production is presented each May.
Dubé says he is anxious to get back to teaching and has offered his services to schools like LaurenHill.