After making her way to the 2022 Dance World Cup (DWC) finals in San Sebastian, Spain, 13-year-old Innisfil dancer Eva Graves returned home with a fifth place finish and a silver medal.
“A lot of credit is given to all the work and training that has been done up to this point. I want to keep training and set new goals for the 2023 season,” Graves said.
In her debut at DWC and internationally, Graves placed fifth in Acro Solo out of 57 other dancers with a score of 95.5. She also won a silver medal in the Contemporary Small Group category.
Graves is enjoying the momentum and feeling great about her performance in her first time on the world stage.
She attributes her success and strong performance to a positive attitude and open-mindedness.
“It was a whole new experience, scary and new. But I just wanted to show the world what I can do and share my passion for dance with all other countries and dancers.”
In addition to her family and friends, she thanked for the support she received from home at Miss Jennie’s Performing Arts Studio in Innisfil and CTRL Acrobatics in Toronto, as well as from the World Performers Canada (WPC) team.
“I was inspired by the love and support they all gave me and it was so amazing. It wasn’t just a competition like we have here at home. I wanted to make her proud.”
Graves said attending the event itself meant she felt an overwhelming sense of anticipation as she tried to experience it all with her nerves and excitement.
“I really just focused on staying calm and executing my choreography but also enjoying the moments that I experienced.”
She said it was very inspiring to have the experience of walking on stage with the dancers carrying their own flags and hearing all the different national anthems and the crowd all cheering for them.
“It was just amazing to be able to share the stage with such incredibly talented dancers, artists who all worked so hard to get to this point.”
For Graves, her success caps a journey full of hurdles that she and her teammates had to overcome to reach the World Finals when COVID-19 changed their routine for three long years.
“We’ve had lockdowns, restrictions, mask dancing, dancing outside, Zoom classes and then to finally be able to show what we’ve been working on through all of that has been amazing.”
She plans to continue working hard at Miss Jennie’s and CTRL as she hopes to return with the team to the Dance World Cup in Portugal in 2023. This time, with a little more foresight of what to expect and a few less nerves and more confidence on stage, Graves is hoping for even better results.
After celebrating with the WPC team in Spain and an extended week-long stay to explore Europe, for now she just wants to extend the winning spirit with more celebrations with family and friends.