Our Community — Demi Correia

Tanzanite Toronto
Jan 21, 2019 · 5 min read

Welcome to Our Community! Here, we will be highlighting fellow members of our Tanzanian Community. In this section, you will find interesting activities, hobbies, and perspectives from our very own members. With the purpose of fostering a greater connectivity and awareness of our community members, we hope you find these posts interesting and inspiring!

This week we’re featuring an intelligent, hard-working, and passionate youth member of our Tanzanian community — Demi Correia.

You probably recognize Demi from the numerous dance performances she’s done for past Tanzanite dances. Demi has always attended the Tanzanite events, supporting our community for as long as she can remember. Her hard-working, committed, and passionate qualities can be seen through her dance career which started at the age of 3 and continues to this very day. She’s performed an extensive amount of styles and has won many dance competitions over the years. One REALLY cool fact is Demi is now an Afrobeats Instructor (Every week, Demi leads Afrobeats community classes of approximately 20 people at Wilfred Laurier University). Her love for Afrobeats originates no farther than from the Tanzanian community.

In addition to this, her intelligence can be seen through the strong academic performance at Mentor College, St. Francis Xavier’s International Baccalaureate program, and now at her final year at Wilfred Laurier University in the Honours Economics Program. But it doesn’t stop there, Demi also plans to continue with a master’s degree in the future!

Tanzanite has always been a part of Demi’s life, as it gives her an opportunity to celebrate her culture in a unique way with a group of people who she’s created unbreakable bonds with.

Demi on Dancing and Sports Throughout the Years:

I’ve been dancing since I was 3 years old, so it’s been about 18 years now. As a child, I practiced the basic styles of ballet, jazz, and tap. This later flourished to an extensive array of styles including hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, acro, pointe, burlesque, dancehall, and afrobeats. I have been a competitive dancer since the age of 8, winning various titles for my solos, small groups, and large groups. Some of these include the Kick It Up Highest Senior Acro Solo, the Starquest Nationals Top 10, the Starquest Nationals Intermediate Apogee Award, and the Fever Dance Competition Highest Senior Group. Throughout high school, I shared my love for dance with peers in various talent shows, pep rallies, and assemblies, where my interest in self choreography began. With graduating high school also came the end of my competitive dance career. Unsure if I would ever have the opportunity to regularly dance again, I entered university. This is where I discovered Laurier’s Recreational Dance Program. I spent my first two years of university falling in love with the program and taking different dance styles each semester. The program had become a part of me and I knew I wanted more from it. In my third year, I was given the chance to bring my African heritage into the Laurier community and I immediately rose to the occasion. I soon became Laurier’s Afrobeats Instructor. Being a brand new class at Laurier, it was not the most popular and we struggled to meet the minimum registration. After students saw what the class offered at our Fall 2017 Showcase, the class size quintupled in size for the next semester. I feel extremely lucky to expose my culture to so many in a program and sport I hold dear to me.

Demi and Her Activity Breakdown:

Other Sports:

1. Gymnastics — age 6–10

· Competitive age 7–10

· Provincial Level from age 8–9

· Pre-novice National Level for Age 10

2. Rhythmic Gymnastics — age 11–12

· Competitive for both years

· Ontario Provincial Level 4A Runner Up

· Ontario Provincial Level 5A Champion

3. Figure Skating

· Competitive for age 5–13

· Triple Gold Level

Demi on her Extracurricular Activities:

Other Extracurricular Activities:

1. High School: Xavier

· Cheerleading team — grade 10

· DECA — Grade 11 (competed at provincials)

· Link Crew — Grade 12

· Student Council — Grade 11 Representative, Secretary (grade 12)

2. Uni: Laurier

  • Students Offering Support — a registered charity that raises funds for building schools and improving educational opportunities for children in Latin America, also runs outreach trips
  • 2nd & 3rd year: Marketing Executive — worked with social media & graphics
  • 4th year: Co-VP of Promotions — we run classroom drop-in pitches, in person advertising, boothing

Laurier Recreational Dance

  • 1–2nd year: participant
  • 3–4th year: Afrobeats/ Dancehall Instructor

Demi on School:

I went to elementary school at Mentor College, where I graduated with Honour Roll with Distinction. This later led me to St. Francis Xavier’s IB Programme, where I was given the opportunity to learn from a brilliant Economics teacher. This led to my inevitable interest in the subject and my application to Wilfrid Laurier’s Honours Economics Program. Wilfrid Laurier is well known for their impressive business and economics program. This in combination with the perfect campus environment proved to be a match made in heaven. My experiences at Laurier have shaped me into a more passionate, ambitious, and focused person than I thought possible. My passion does not stop at my undergraduate degree, as I hope to continue with a Masters degree in the future.

Demi Speaks on the Tanzanite:

My family and I have been attending Tanzanite events religiously since I was a toddler. I looked forward to the Tanzanite picnic so much each year that I would plan a new colour theme months in advance; let’s just say, I’ve gone to the picnic so many times that I don’t think there are any new colours left for me to wear. My father, with my mother alongside, has always been a strong supporter of Tanzanite, which has rubbed off on my brother and myself. My other relatives have also always been supporters, which made the events that much more exciting for me. Together, we have been attendees, volleyball champions, volleyball losers, darts champions, darts losers, volunteers, performers, and committee members. That being said, Tanzanite has always been a part of me. As a Canadian-born Tanzanian, Tanzanite gives me the opportunity to celebrate my culture in which I was not able to experience first hand. It creates a community of support and a sense of family within a group of people who would otherwise be strangers. I have created unbreakable bonds with people who share my beliefs and my culture, and I hope that one day we can carry on Tanzanite’s legacy for generations to come.

If there is anything I could say to Tanzanite, it would be to continue to remind each other of why we do this. It is the younger generations that will soon be taking over, many of which depend on Tanzanite to give them a sense of community and culture in one. The better we are able to show them how beneficial these connections can be and how sacred our culture is to us, the more involved they’ll become. We are one large family that deserves for its traditions to be passed down.

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