From pom-poms to tap shoes, the county will be alive with movement in the coming weeks as four different dance programs present their spring recitals.
Alpine Dance Academy
Kelly Monahon, director of Alpine Dance Academy, said recitals are an important way for parents to see the progress their children are making through dance.
“Other sports have games where parents can watch and see the progress and athletes can have that gratification of winning or losing; that’s what you practice for, the game,” she said. “When you’re a dancer, you practice for your performance, that’s your game.”
The Alpine Dance Academy recital on Saturday at Summit Middle School will showcase the talents of more than 75 dancers, ranging from 3-year-old beginners to pre-professional high schoolers. The Alpine Vibes, Alpine Dance Academy’s competitive dance company, will also be performing a few of their competition routines.
The show will be broken into three sections. “Soundtracked” will feature songs from movies and TV, with selections from “The Hunger Games” to “Mary Poppins.” All Alpine Dance Academy ballet students will perform in the second section, “Sleeping Beauty,” following the traditional ballet story and the original Tchaikovsky composition. The third section is “Remixed & Remastered,” with pieces devoted to older songs that have been covered, remixed or remade into something new.
Monahon said dance allows an outlet for creativity and arts in an athletic form.
“A lot of athletes in sports can only play through high school,” she said. “If you’re a dancer, you can go into any studio in the world and take a class at anytime in your life. If you appreciate the art form, it’s a lifetime of love that can be nurtured right here in Summit.”
The Spirit of Dance
Dancers ages 3 to adult will perform on Saturday at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge in the spring recital for The Spirit of Dance, Yoga, Movement and Meditation. The recital will feature ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, modern, hip-hop and Zumba, with a special guest appearance by the all-adult belly-dancing ensemble Alma’s Only Belly Dancers.
“We’re doing the Phantom of the Opera ballet — that I think is going to be one of the highlights of the show,” said Wendy Bradshaw, director-instructor of The Spirit of Dance. “We’re doing a piece from the Lion King, and the costumes are out of this world; that is a jazz piece.”
The studio draws students from Park County, Chaffee County and the Bailey area. Giving her students the opportunity to perform on a stage with their teammates helps boost their self-esteem and take pride in their practice of dance, Bradshaw said.
“We take pride in our kids having the opportunity to perform for the community,” she said. “It’s the highlight to the end of the year and gives them something to work toward. Working on technique in class and take that out to the stage.”
Bradshaw said dance helps bring the community together.
“I feel like dance provides a great outlet for children, both in a physical and emotional way, and helps develop their strength and endurances and flexibility,” she said. “This is our 12th season, and the community has really been supportive. We build our classes to help build our students’ confidence and self-discipline; they dance in a really warm and caring environment.”
Summit School of Dance
Melanie Frey, director of the Summit School of Dance, said dancing teaches her students life lessons.
“When you have to dance in front of an audience, you have to learn how to put the best foot forward, and if it doesn’t turn out the way you expected, you have to keep moving on,” she said.
The Summit School of Dance will put on its 29th spring recital May 18 and 19 at Summit High School. More than 250 dancers from Summit, Eagle, Lake and Park counties, ranging from the newest preschoolers to advanced high school performers, will present pieces in ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, hip-hop, musical theater, modern, creative movement and boys club.
Titled “Dance at its Peak,” the recital has a little something for everyone, Frey said, from preschool Pink Piglets tapping their way across the stage in front of an animated set of boys playing video games to dancers in masks and an “Afro Circus.”
Dance is a great after-school activity for kids who might just be sitting in front of a TV, Frey said.
“It’s a great physical activity, the whole art aspect and creative ability that happens there,” she said. “There’s the social aspect, and there’s a lot to be learned about how you learn. Some of us are very tactile, some visual, some auditory — it hits all those different ways of learning.
“It’s great for self-confidence and balance, coordination and poise and control of your body. There are a lot of different reasons why the kids come to me, and we try to honor all of those.”
Kelby Cavness started Summit Dancers a mere 10 months ago, and on May 20, the after-school program will put on its first performance for parents and members of the community.
“It’s something I put together at the last minute for parents so they could see their kids come and do their dance routine, what they’ve been learning throughout the year” Cavness said.
The Summit Dancers will perform a pom-pom routine in the Upper Blue Elementary cafeteria in Breckenridge. After the kids dance, there will be a small party for parents, where Cavness will be passing out certificates, taking pictures and raffling off a scholarship for next year’s program.
“The kids demonstrate what they’ve learned throughout the year, and I can hear back an opinion from my parents because I’ve only been in business 10 months now, and as a business owner, it’s important to me to get feedback from the parents, anything that’s awesome about the program, anything they would change,” Cavness said.
The Summit Dancers, ages kindergarten to fifth-grade, meet Mondays and Tuesdays at Upper Blue and Wednesdays at Summit Cove Elementary School. Some students attend one day a week, others more, Cavness said. Each two-hour session begins with a snack and homework time to stress the importance of eating healthy and the adage that education comes first.
“My program is open to all ages, from beginner to intermediate, teaching the basic steps of dance, proper stretching techniques,” she said. “We keep the kids in a safe location, where the parents are going to be comfortable, and provide something fun and educational for the kids to do.”