Summit School of Dance recital provides much needed closure after a year of uncertainty
DILLON — A week ago, Summit High School class of 2020 graduate Riley Lineaweaver didn’t know she would be performing her senior solo to a crowd of family and friends.
After the novel coronavirus pandemic forced classes at the Summit School of Dance to be canceled, Lineaweaver had given up on the idea of performing her solo — the final performance for senior students who go through the program.
On Saturday, Aug. 29, what was once an uncertainty became reality, when Lineaweaver was able to perform her solo to the song “Little Girl” at the Dillon Amphitheater.
“I decided to choose that song because it was about life and growing up,” she said. “It’s what the senior solo is supposed to be about.”
The theme of growing up is even more important for Lineaweaver, who drove from her dorm at the University of Colorado in Boulder to Dillon on Saturday to perform her solo.
She is one of many high school seniors whose final year of school ended in uncertainty. The recital was an opportunity to provide much-needed closure for Lineaweaver, who has been dancing at the school since she was 3 years old.
“It feels good (to be able to perform),” Lineaweaver said. “At least it’s something. It’s not like regular recital, but it was still nice.”
Kim Lineaweaver, Riley’s mother, said watching her daughter dance was “surreal.”
“It was incredibly surreal, but I was very happy to experience that during COVID with very few good things happening,” Kim said.
Riley’s dance teacher, Kelly Threlkeld, who is also the school’s director and owner, said she loved being able to teach Riley through the years.
“Watching any of my seniors graduate just warms my heart,” Threlkeld said. “Especially somebody like Riley. … She comes alive when she’s on stage.”
Threlkeld was going to make the recital happen no matter the circumstances.
“I was positive. I was positive it was going to happen,” she said. “Whatever way it was going to happen, it was going to happen.”
Riley was joined by around 50 other dancers on Saturday. All of whom had three weeks of practice leading up to the recital.
To accommodate for the pandemic, every dancer at the recital wore masks while they were on stage, except for Riley who performed alone. The Dillon Amphitheater had one-way traffic signs throughout the stands and families sat 6 feet apart.
Threlkeld said every family was asked to only bring two family members per dancer, making for a more sparse crowd than the 750 people the recital usually brings in. Ultimately, Threlkeld wanted to give the students a chance to end the year on a good note, despite all of the accommodations due to the virus.
“They all needed the end of the season,” she said. “They needed to finish out what they started. The goal is always recital and you’ve got to finish what you started.”
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