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Light On Our Feet 3: from ballet to burlesque

Light on our Feet
Co-producers Sara Robb

Benefit cabaret highlights dance and movement

Bringing together a host of completely different dance and movement styles under one roof is no easy feat.

But all the late nights Holly Vivian has spent organizing Light On Our Feet 3 are worth the effort, she says. Money raised at the annual two-night dance extravaganza supports enhancements to the Metro Studio Theatre, where the event is is being held April 22 and 23.

“It’s a labour of love,” says Vivian, a freelance stage manager and technician. “It’s rewarding on a lot of levels.”

Since the inaugural show three years ago, more performers have wanted to volunteer their talents. This year, 32 proposals were submitted, though there wasn’t room for everyone.

“It’s hard to turn people away,” Vivian says.

The upcoming showcase will feature 16 acts each night, performing in segments of five minutes or less. Sweet Cabaret Night, ideal for younger audiences, happens on the Friday, while Saturday is Saucy Cabaret Night, which includes burlesque.

In addition to tap, ballet, hip hop, flamenco and belly dancing, new acts include dance improvisation, musical theatre, burlesque, modern dance, salsa, a kung-fu fan dance – even movement-based artists such as jugglers and acrobats are set to perform.

“Everyone’s a volunteer. Even I’m a volunteer on this show and the dancers are volunteers,” says Vivian, who is co-producing the fundraiser with Sara Robb. “It’s a community-driven project.”

Vivian organized the first show out of a desire to raise money to pay for expensive side lighting for the Metro. That’s how the show’s name was born, a play on words relating to lighting and dancing.

It was only fitting to include dancers in the lineup, because so many use the Metro stage, she says.

The benefit event grew from there. Last year it sold out and raised about $5,000, which helped provide more seating and improve audience sightlines. It proved so popular that “people paid to sit on the floor,” Vivian recalls.

This year’s enhancement project hasn’t been decided, but there is a need for dressing room improvements.

Audience members are encouraged to come in cabaret attire for a costume contest. They can wear everything from fishnets, feathers and masks to top hats and suspenders, or just something fancy, Vivian says.

Dance days

What: Light On Our Feet 3

When: 8 p.m., April 22 and 23

Where: Metro Studio Theatre, 1411 Quadra St.

Tickets: Adults $20, students/seniors $15 on April 22, all tickets $20 for April 23. Available at, by phone at 250-590-6291, or at Intrepid Theatre Club, 1609 Blanshard St.