Athlete of the Week: Kaelan Meunier

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Local teen Kaelan Meunier is headed to Germany this week to represent Canada at the World Tap Dance Championships.

He began dancing at four years old at JJ Dance Performing Arts Studio in Huntsville where he studied tap, hip hop and jazz and was on the competitive team. He continues to passionately dance 11 years later.

Meunier decided to specialize in tap and focused on improving his technique. Five years ago, he began training at The Tap Dance Centre in Mississauga under Kim Chalovich.

Meunier has grown immensely in his chosen sport. Last April he auditioned for the Team Canada dance team and received a call back with an invite to compete.

Kaelan Meunier is excited to be representing Canada at the 2019 World Tap Dance Championships (supplied)

Kaelan Meunier is excited to be representing Canada at the 2019 World Tap Dance Championships (supplied)

“This has been one of my goals to be the top of my craft ever since I can remember,” said Meunier.

Team Canada is headed to the IDO (International Dance Organization) World Tap Championships, which will be held November 26-30 in Riesa, Germany. The best of the best dancers from more than 90 nations will compete, all aiming to win a title.

Meunier is eager to win a gold medal for his country.

“I am very excited to compete in Germany and to attempt to win a medal. I have never been to Europe before and I am excited to experience their culture and meet dancers from around the world,” he said.

Canada will be represented by two teams due to its large geographical area, with one centred in Alberta and the other in Mississauga. Meunier is part of Team Canada East.

Meunier will compete as part of Team Canada East’s junior division along with 21 other tappers. The main routine that his group will be performing is called Formation which includes all 22 junior dancers.

Meunier was also selected to compete in the junior small group which consists of six tappers.

Meunier has been working hard to achieve his dreams. He balances schooling and training well and he appreciates his family’s commitment to driving to his rehearsals in Mississauga on the weekends.

And he has advice for any kids starting out in dance: “Don’t let anyone put you down…There are people who still bully male dancers and that’s not okay. You be you and do what you love. Despite my negative experiences I still love to tap and will keep tapping forever.”

He and his family leave for Germany tomorrow, November 24. Good luck, Kaelan!

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