Zoe Gallut just loves dancing.
“I sort of feel like you can express your feelings through it,” the 8-year-old said. “It really lets you let it out and you get to do a bunch of fun songs; it’s just really fun.”
Zoe has been dancing since she was 3 and most recently performed at the Summit School of Dance recital last weekend at Summit High School. She said she was “all over the place” before her big performance.
“I was nervous and I was excited and it was overwhelming a little bit,” she said. “When I get on stage, I always feel like, ‘Oh no, I’ll forgot all the steps, I don’t know what to do,’ but as soon as I’m on the stage, I’m like, we do this stuff, then this then that.”
The show must go on
The recital was also a little nerve-wracking for Summit School of Dance owner Melanie Frey, who was bombarded with calls from parents leading up to the event — kids with strep and kids with the flu and even kids with broken bones.
“The kids were absolutely amazing, and I wasn’t certain it was ever going to happen with the number of calls I was getting prior to performance time,” she said. “But somehow this one turned out to be an amazing performance. I couldn’t be more proud of my students or my teachers.”
Summit School of Dance is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and Frey has owned the studio for the last 25 years. The annual spring recital featured students from 60 classes across three studios in Frisco, Breckenridge and Eagle-Vail. Cassie Alford, 7, did a ballet dance to music from the Disney movie “Frozen” and said she felt very pretty in her costume.
“It was blue with, like, little diamonds on it,” she said. “And there’s a blue tutu and a tiara and little gloves. … I like to dance to pretty music.”
This was Cassie’s first year of dance and her first-ever recital. She said she was excited to learn all of the new moves and the performance turned out to be pretty fun, despite making her a little nervous.
“I like dancing all the time. I never danced in front of a crowd before,” she said, adding that watching her dance puts a smile on her mother’s face. “I like to dance for my mom. … I had a lot of fun; I can’t wait to do it again.”
Start a CO.motion
Faith McMahon, 10, takes hip-hop, modern, jazz and ballet at Summit School of Dance. She’s also been dancing since she was 3 and said she likes to move to the music and dance with her friends.
“I really like ballet because all of the other dances build off from ballet,” she said. “Modern and jazz — there’s ballet moves within all of the dances.”
Faith said how she feels before a performance depends on whether she’s just dancing or if she’s competing against other dancers with Junior CO.motion, the studio’s beginner competition group.
“During our competition, I get a little nervous, but during recitals and things, it’s not a big deal,” she said. “I like being able to dance in front of a crowd, and a lot of times, I’ll just dance for fun, and it just shares what I’m thinking. After school if I’m really mad, I will do more like hip-hop when I’m at home and just around.”
Nicole Ayala, 9, is also a member of Junior CO.motion, as well as taking classes in ballet and jazz and leaps and turns class with the older girls.
“My favorite was this number called ‘Gentlemen,’ ” she said. “It did amazing, and it was the best one there, it looked like it, because we got the most applause.”
Recitals are fun for Nicole, in her fifth year of dance, because she gets to be on stage and perform in front of everybody else.
“I was excited that I get to dance with my older friends, like the big girls,” she said.
Biggest to the smallest
From the competitors to the tiniest tots, the Summit School of Dance spring recital displayed the talents of every age of up-and-coming dancer. Nicole’s mom, Katie DeSantis, instructs the Junior CO.motion group, as well as tap, jazz and Kindie ballet for 5- and 6-year-olds.
“In rehearsal, my Kindie class, a highlight was seeing them actually know their dance for such a young age, that’s a pretty good feat,” she said with a laugh. “The other two, just seeing them grow over the year and then being able to show what they’ve done.”
For the littlest ones, the focus was all on the wonder of the stage and the glitz and glamour of the getups. Five-year-old Aniaya Brenner described her costume as “poofy, pink and beautiful” and said she prefers to dance to “slow music.”
“It shows emotions and I love it!” she said of her dancing experience thus far.
“This recital was pretty spectacular,” Frey said. “What I enjoy most is when watching the kids from the wings. I hear their giggles and their excitement while they’re out there on stage. … I’m in joy overload right now. I’m just really proud of them all.”