Canadian NBC stars hit the stage in Toronto for World Of Dance

By: David Venn

North America's youngest professional Pro Caberet duet are back in Canada performing for World of Dance for the first time since their appearance on the NBC show.

 Luka and Jenalyn performing at World of Dance Toronto Saturday night. (James O’Dowda)

Luka and Jenalyn performing at World of Dance Toronto Saturday night. (James O’Dowda)

The Queen Elizabeth Theatre was the home for WOD on Saturday night and it marked Luka Milacic-Perusina and Jenalyn Saraza-Pacheco's first time performing in front of their home crowd under the WOD name.

Both Milacic-Perusina and Saraza-Pacheco said they were touched by the experience.

“It was pretty amazing seeing my family there, knowing they are watching me,” said Pacheco after their performance.

“It was incredible. We’ve been everywhere around the States, but it was [great] having home support out here from people who saw [us] on T.V. as a representative of their country [and] their city,” says Milacic-Perusina, “It’s been an experience we have been looking forward to ever since we started this.”

The pair said they love performing at home and it adds to their motivation to get better, “Hopefully [fans] fall in love with [our dance style] like we did and we grow together and make history,” says Milacic-Perusina.

 Luka and Jenalyn after returning from L.A for NBCs World of Dance (David Venn/CanCulture)

Luka and Jenalyn after returning from L.A for NBCs World of Dance (David Venn/CanCulture)

This event is a competition that features talent from various genres of dance in the Toronto area. Each champion of their respective division gets their performance sent to NBC for a chance to get on the show. Milacic-Perusina and Saraza-Pacheco were the final showcase act of the night after a full day of dancing.

Glen De Mel, chief operating officer for WOD Toronto pairs their platforms ability to showcase unseen talent, along with Milacic-Perusina and Saraza-Pacheco’s influence on Canadian dancing and says it “puts Canadian talent on the map” and that it’s “a big push for anyone that's Canadian or in the dance community as well.”

After three years of WOD Toronto, it took a three-year hiatus as David Forteau, licensee of WOD, said he felt like the dance community in Toronto needed to grow and expand before gathering again.

He says that the community can learn important aspects of dance and performance from Milacic-Perusina and Saraza-Pacheco, “They bring a refreshing new wave of energy into what it means to be a performer.”

“The way that they attack the stage is unique and refreshing,” Forteau said. “I think Toronto needs to see more of that because it allows them to up their game in those areas. To put on a show, to own a stage is what Luka and Jenalyn do 10 out of 10 times.”

World of Dance will be returning to Toronto on Oct. 28th as a part of the NBC tour that will showcase the show’s greatest talent.

Milacic-Perusina explains the show as a “70-minute monster concert-like performance” featuring all the top performers from the show.

“You guys are going to be seeing something pretty amazing,” Saraza-Pacheco said.

As for now, the Canadian dancers are heading to Moncton, N.B. for their first stop on the tour, then to Reading, Pa. You can find the full list of tour dates here.