Miss Megann McCandless was hired as a member of Toronto’s Billy Elliot cast!
Oshawa’s own, Step with Style Dance Productions, is proud to announce that at a recent audition for the Mirvish Production of the Tony Award winning show Billy Elliot, not only did 4 of their dancers make it into the top 7 in the final round, but one- Miss Megann McCandless was hired as a member of Toronto’s Billy Elliot cast!
Step with Style is excited to announce that dancer Megann McCandless whom auditioned with hundreds of children from studios in the region and throughout Canada and the Northeast US, was contracted for the role of Small Swing in Billy Elliot. As Small Swing Megann is responsible for learning ALL the different lead roles for the girls her age and being able to perform them at any given time. This is a huge responsibility for someone only age ten!
Megann McCandless began training at Step with Style at the age of six years old under the direction of Amanda Coatham and husband Alexander (Sasha) Chifman. The casting directors from New York were thrilled with her ability, and said that Megann’s “tap and ballet technique were the best they had seen!” This is wonderful to hear! “We could not be more proud & happy for her.” says Director Sasha. “We spend endless hours training our students, working with them towards whatever their personal goals may be and when they reach them we could not be more proud! To watch one of your students at such a young age on the Mirvish stage is incredible! We are looking forward to many more experiences like this!” says Artistic Director Amanda.
Casting Directors had much to say about Step with Style’s students! “Excellent technique and performance quality at such young ages!” says Nora Brennan (Nora Brennan Casting, New York) of the 4 dancers from SWS that made the final round.
The Tony Award winning Broadway show Billy Elliot is now playing at the Canon Theatre, in Toronto. A typical rehearsal day for Megann in the beginning required 9 hours of rehearsal (plus travel from Oshawa). The day was broken up into Scene Work and Music, Dialect, Tutoring, followed by 4 hours of dance. Once rehearsal moved from Studio City to the Canon, the days became a little longer, closer to 11 hours (plus travel) and consisted of more Scene Work, Music, Tutoring, Dance, Cardio and full dress rehearsals. Megann was privileged to work with Steven Dilling, Ben Furey and Ryan Kapsprzak during this time.
Since working with the cast of Billy Elliot, Megann has performed the roles of Allison Summers, Keeley Gibson and Angela Robson. She is also the second understudy for the role of “Small Boy”. Working with choreographers Sean Kelly, Sara Brians and Kate Dunn, Megann McCandless is thrilled to be a part of such an amazing cast and is putting her pay towards her post secondary education!
When asked: what was one of her favorite moments Megann states: “There isn’t just one. I love all of it. I was really excited when I finally got to meet the whole cast. I also liked when my friends and family were watching and taking Mandy and Sasha on a backstage tour. Opening night was amazing too, and I got to meet Sir Elton John!”
“This has been a surreal experience. Megann wanted to go to the audition for the “experience”. Watching your daughter on stage in a production of this size is truly indescribable. You are filled with so much pride and love it’s difficult to put into words. Add to that hearing how hard working and what great technique she has from Directors, Stage Managers and Choreographers from New York, as a parent, you are on cloud nine! Opening night for us was an experience we will never forget. To watch your once painfully shy little girl sit down and have a casual conversation with Sir Elton John and David Furnish, then pose for pictures, is an experience you will never forget! When Megann started dance she was very quiet and shy, however Mandy and Sasha have done so much, to not just help with her confidence, they have given her the tools to allow her to do whatever she puts her mind too. Not just with dance, but with life. For that we could not be more grateful!” says Megann’s parents Kelly and Steve McCandless.Megann McCandless is a member of Step with Style’s competitive team. Auditions for the competitive team are held annually throughout the summer. Whether your young one wants to become a professional dancer or they just love to dance, Step with Style has a class for everyone at every age. To book a meeting with the Artistic Directors to discuss what SWS has to offer your young dancer, please call (905) 723 – 1133. (Meetings are currently being held weekly for all interested.) For more information on Step with Style and its programs we encourage you to visit www.stepwithstyle.ca