Emily Eagar’s first formal dance lesson will be with the choreographer for Disney’s Shake it Up television series.
The 14-year-old Hantsport resident choreographed a hip hop routine for Blake McGrath’s Stage Fright and videotaped herself performing the dance. She submitted the video to an online Shake it Up contest with no expectation of actually winning the Canada-wide competition.
“I’ve liked dancing for awhile and I thought it’d be cool to try it,” said the Grade 9 Horton High School student with a shrug.
“I didn’t really expect much out of it because I don’t have any experience and I thought there would be people better [than me].”
Eagar was selected as one of three finalists to advance to a voter’s choice-styled final round.
On Dec. 4, much to Eagar’s astonishment, she learned her video had earned the most votes and a grand prize valued at between $12,000 and $15,000 while perusing the show’s website.
“I had the link and I was trying to check what time it would tell you [who won] and it showed that I won,” she recalled with a giggle.
“I ran out and told my mom.”
Eagar is flying to Toronto free of charge with her mother and best friend Jan. 27 to claim her winnings: a one-on-one dance lesson with Shake it Up choreographer Rosero McCoy, complementary hotel accommodations for two nights, a Shake it Up wardrobe, a $500 Wal-Mart gift card and $500 in cash.
“It’s pretty good to get lessons with someone that famous,” Eagar said.
The aspiring dancer is excited to have the opportunity to get a taste of what it is like to be a professional performer.
Eagar’s mother, Karrie Ritchie, the Town of Hantsport’s director of recreation and community development, says she was blown away by her daughter’s initiative.
“A lot of parents either push or say try and this is something that she saw and… (did) all by herself,” said Ritchie, smiling at Eagar.
Eagar says her admiration of former So You Think You Can Dance Canada choreographer Blake McGrath pushed her to enter the contest.
She once received a phone call from McGrath and a publicist after corresponding with the professional dancer through a public Facebook page and sending him some videos of her busting a few moves.
“He told me I had potential,” Eagar beamed.
“I owe it all to Blake McGrath.”