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Maple Ridge dancer wins provincials

Aimee Payne heads to L.A. this summer to crack the dance scene
Aimee Payne performs a jazz routine at a competition. She won a provincial title in Kamloops last week.

Aimee Payne literally lives to dance.

The 17-year-old takes nine classes a week, learning hip-hop, contemporary, jazz, ballet and tap, and even gives up weekends to travel to Vancouver to learn from other choreographers.

“Honestly, every time I get up on stage, even in classes, it feels like my heart’s on fire,” says Payne, who just graduated from Thomas Haney secondary and trains at Peggy Peat School of Dance.

“It feels so good.”

It seems that all the hard work Payne’s putting into dancing is paying off.

Last week, she swept the senior stage category at the provincial dance championships, beating out 18 other dancers for the prize.

Payne was selected for the provincials from the Surrey Festival of Dance, one of the largest in North America.

“I just feel like it’s a nice way to end my year,” Payne says.

This summer, she heads to L.A. with Triple Threat presents Next Step, a program that helps dancers break into the Los Angeles dance scene.

“My dream since I’ve been 11 is to dance in L.A.,” says Payne.

Before she heads to L.A., she’ll fly to Las Vegas to compete with other dancers from Peggy Peat and return to B.C. for the Fusion Dance Camp, which she attends every summer.

Payne will spend August dancing in shows at the PNE.

“I’m in a dream when I’m up there,” she says. “It’s unreal. Every time I take a class or perform, my passion just grows strong.”

Another Peggy Peat dancer –Cassidy Corrigan – was selected to compete in the provincials from the Pacific West Festival as junior stage representative (ages 10-12).