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Park and Summit counties celebrate dance

Kimberly Nicoletti
summit daily news

On the heels of Summit School of Dance’s recital, two more local dance studios celebrate dance with their shows this weekend.

The Spirit of Dance presents Expressions 2011; 10 years of Dance at 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday at South Park School Auditorium. Alpine Dance Academy’s Spring Recital takes place at 6 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Keystone’s Warren Station. Tickets are $10 for adults and can be purchased at the door.

Wendy Bradshaw opened The Spirit of Dance in Fairplay 10 years ago, when she moved to Colorado from the East Coast. She originally thought the change would force her to hang up her dancing shoes, but she took the leap and opened up shop in Fairplay, where she began with 34 students right off the bat. Today, she teaches more than 130 adults and kids and employs four people.

“Dance has always filled my soul and spirit, and I found a way to share my passion and love of dance with the community of South Park,” Bradshaw said.

Saturday, Bradshaw celebrates her success by bringing back some of her older students who have majored in dance, as well as some of her favorite routines from past years.

“We have very unique choreography, and we have dancers that are making it look fantastic,” she said, adding that the show also features “some very emotional pieces; we have pieces that are going to make you cry and laugh,” as well as ponder the more modern presentations.

The recital showcases a rock ‘n’ roll ballet piece, hip-hop preschoolers, and “Birds of Prey,” in which dancers prey on a bird in a cage and end up with a huge surprise.

“We’re mixing things up a little bit this year,” she said. “I’m really proud to show the community where we’ve come in 10 years. I’m proud of the students’ technique, drive and passion. I think it’s going to be one of the best shows that we’ve put on yet.”

Alpine Dance Academy’s recital features 60 students from all eight Summit County schools. All proceeds from ticket sales benefit The Summit Dance Fund, a scholarship fund for local dancers to continue their dance education outside of our small community.

This year’s themes range from “Divas” and “Ritmos Latinos” to “Written in the Stars.” The diva portion includes songs by divas young and old – from Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross to Rihanna and Lady GaGa.

“Ritmos Latinos” involves a Latin rhythm section with traditional salsa beats, as well as Latin hip-hop and pop music.

“Written in the Stars” is a ballet about the constellations of Medusa, Perseus, Poseidon, Pegasus, Cassiopeia and Andromeda. Director Kelly Monahon is one of the choreographers of this piece, which opens with Medusa and Perseus locked in battle. Perseus is fighting Medusa because she has been turning every creature she meets into stone. Out of Medusa’s ashes rises Pegasus, the winged horse, who vows to serve Perseus. Across the heavens Cassiopeia dotes on her daughter, Andromeda, but when Poseidon hears Cassiopeia’s claims that her daughter is the most beautiful, he becomes jealous and kidnaps the girl. Cassiopeia begs Perseus for help, and an epic encounter ensues.

“I’ve always been really interested in mythology,” Monahon said, adding that she majored in classics at Boston University. “I started looking into all the different constellations and discovered that the story for those six constellations fit together perfectly. Also, we have six dancers who I knew could play those roles flawlessly.”

Throughout the recital, Monahon said what stands out most is the level of dancing and choreography.

“The teachers have really pushed their dancers this year, and it shows,” she said.


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