Summit County dancers back from Disney World
When local dance studios the Art of Dance and Rocky Mountain Dance Academy recently met, it wasn’t of a competitive nature; it was quite the opposite. The two groups came together in the name of Disney.Director of the Art of Dance Denise Moser brought the idea of traveling to the Florida resort for a dance program to Rocky Mountain Dance Academy director Jennifer Voxikis as way to team up and do something for the kids. “I’d rather see dance, personally, as an art form … rather than a competitive sport,” Moser said.
This year’s trip was Moser’s fourth time with the Disney World youth programs. She had gone on the trip with students from her studio in Pennsylvania, and wanted to bring the opportunity to her new students in Summit County.The group consisted of 24 girls ranging in age from 8 years old to high school along with their families and the directors. The first day of the program on April 4, the dancers were given a four-hour workshop class at MGM studios with instruction by a Disney performer. “They did a mock audition, so when the kids came through the door, they were given a number and shown what an actual audition was like if auditioning for Disney World,” Moser said.
The dancers got the behind-the-scenes experience, learning choreography the Disney dancers performed throughout the year. At one point Goofy came on stage, and the girls learned they needed to keep their focus, even with the distraction.The next day the group performed at the outdoor Galaxy Palace Theater in the Magic Kingdom Park. The Rocky Mountain Performing Arts, the name for their combined group, performed four dances – a mix of jazz and tap routines, and all came together for a finale number. The venue, set in the middle of the amusement park, is the main performance stage in the Magic Kingdom. Moser said they could see people lined up for the rides from their location.Along with the fun of Disney – the group package included entry into most of park’s attractions – the experience showed the young students professional jobs for dancers.
“People don’t know these opportunities are out there and kids don’t know what they can do with dance,” Moser said. “Until you show them, they have no idea.”Moser said at first the dancers weren’t sure what the program was all about, but after the trip at least one of her students now wants to be a Disney dancer.Leslie Brefeld can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13622, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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