Kamloops has a new Olympian to brag about — a dance Olympian.
Jordan Crawford has been accepted to Team Canada for the International Dance Organization's World Tap Dance Championships, to be held in Riesa, Germany, in December.
The 15-year-old is part of a team of 20 competing in the event, which is billed as the Dance Olympics, along with dancers from more than 30 countries.
She and her mother Andree Crawford, her chaperone on the trip, must fundraise to afford the travel and accommodations — not to mention the entry fees, costumes, choreographer fees and incidentals.
"Dance is not recognized as a sport in Canada so there's no way to get any government funding for the national team even though they are representing the country," said Andree.
Plans for fundraisers haven't fully formed yet, but Andree says she believes the effort and expense will all be worth it.
"It's a great experience for both of us. It's really based a lot on getting to know kids from other countries and exchange souvenirs. And it's a great chance to meet other parents from other communities."
Jordan also gets to practise her German, which she's been taking at South Kamloops secondary school for three years.
Jordan has been dancing ever since she could walk so it seemed a no-brainer to enrol her in dance class at the age of three.
Although she performs in a variety of disciplines, tap is her passion.
"I like listening to the music and finding rhythms that go along with the music. I always tap my feet," she said. "It's just so different than all the other forms of dance."
She found out in August that Team Canada auditions would be held during the Vancouver International Tap Dance Festival the following week and signed up.
"I decided to audition not really thinking that I would make it," she said. "I didn't really do much preparing. It was just kind of a last minute."
Nonetheless, the very night of her tryout, she got the news that she'd made the team.
"It was late at night so I was pretty tired but still, it was really exciting," she said.
That's when the real work began. Dancers travel to Vancouver every weekend for intensive rehearsals and training. Jordan said she's faring well.
"It's not as exhausting as I thought it was going to be."