Mikey Harris & the Ivan Flett Memorial Dancers are fast and furious. Try picturing Métis jigging married to hip hop with flashes of tap, clogging, jazz, and contemporary dance. The trio simply burns up the floor through split-second moves.
The three Harris siblings — Mikey, Jacob, and Cieanna — have developed an international fan base on social media, and have caught the eye of International Children’s Festival of the Arts organizers. From June 2 to 5 the trio will dance at St. Albert’s Millennium Park.
The threesome's dance moniker is named after their grandfather, Ivan Flett, a mentor and inspiration who unexpectedly passed away at the age of 59.
“I started dancing because of him. He was our rock. He was the person we could rely on. He was the backbone of our family. He wasn’t just our grandfather. He was a dad figure. I was 12 when he died, and I didn’t know how to process it. We were grieving. But everything we do now is in honour of him. Thanks to him we fly higher than ever,” said Mikey Harris.
Mikey “DizzyFeet” Harris, the trio’s driving force, has exploded as a TikTok sensation. Click on any video and he exhibits snappy, angular moves with enviable speed, agility, and control. Another signal of the trio's top-drawer artistry was an appearance on Canada’s Got Talent.
“We didn’t make it past the semi-finals, but it was great exposure. It was an opportunity to go on national TV and repair our culture. We still won, in a sense. We got great media exposure and now we can focus on ourselves,” said Mikey.
A member of the Ebb and Flow First Nation — an Anishinaabe First Nations community in Manitoba about 180 kilometres north of Winnipeg — Mikey first started jigging professionally at age five.
“There was a Métis club in Winnipeg and every Friday there was a dance. There was Métis music and mainly an older crowd dancing all night. I started dancing there because it was fun, and people started throwing money at my feet. Pretty soon I became a headliner. Everyone knew I was there and came to see me dance. Grandpa got me more gigs further afar and we started travelling doing shows.”
Mikey was quite literally following in his ancestors' footsteps. His grandfather was a jigger, and his great-grandfather, Freddie Flett, was a world champion jigger.
“You see lots of pow wows, but not every family jigs. I’m trying to put jigging in dance studios so people can learn it. I’m mixing it with hip hop so youth will want to do it.”
Jacob and Cieanna also jumped straight into dancing at age five and the trio shares an uncanny chemistry and flawless synchronization. All three are jig champions.
“We’ve danced together for decades. We can change our whole routine while dancing with one sound or one word.”
Mikey describes Jacob as the high-energy crew member.
“He has stage presence, and every eye goes to him because of how fast his feet move. And he likes to kick high.”
As for Cieanna, Mikey champions her versatility.
“She’s a more relaxed dance. She does everything we do, and she does twirls and spins.”
For the trio it’s all about sharing dancing history and hosting jigging workshops.
“It’s rare to see a full family performance. This is a show that leaves people feeling happy. We are ready to leave everything on the floor.”
General seating tickets are $13. Visit www.stalbert.ca/exp/childfest/tickets/ or call 780-459-1542.