Celebrating 16 years

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By Special to the Monitor

Dance Arts Los Alamos (DALA) requests the honor of the public’s presence at a “sweet 16” celebration.

DALA, founded in 1992, invites the community to the 2008 Spring Showcase Recital with free admission for all. The annual recital, which features the artistry of DALA’s older dancers, will be performed at 7 p.m. Saturday at Duane W. Smith Auditorium.

“We want to mark our 16th anniversary by offering free admission to our Spring Showcase for everyone,” said Dave DeCroix, DALA board president. “It’s a thank-you to the community for its ongoing support of our school of dance, including continued patronage of our annual Nutcracker Ballet and our two spring performance.”

She added, “Of course, since Dance Arts Los Alamos is a nonprofit organization, donations will be cheerfully accepted.”

The Spring Showcase Recital will feature a lively mix of ballet, jazz, modern, tap, hip-hop, Scottish Highland, Spanish and Indian dance. Choreography is by DALA’s professional faculty members Elisabeth Demmer, Anita Gandy, Erica Gionfriddo, Lisa Jaegers, Marion Langan, Alyson Niemeyer, Valerie Silks and Ellen Walton. George Tompkins is the stage manager, assisted by Rob Bishop, who was stage manager for DALA’s Early Childhood Recital earlier in May. Michele DeCroix is the producer. Lighting is by Ross Mason and sound by Ted Galvez.

The sound of bagpipes will open the recital. Scottish Highland combined classes will perform to traditional tunes piped by Paul Langan.

Classics from world-renowned ballets will include a Little Swans variation from Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake,” and dances from “Paquita.

Hip-hop students will liven up the old Smith Auditorium with dances called “Jock Jamz,” “One Two Step” and “Justin Timberlake Mix.”

Tap dancers will perform to the animated “Greased Lightnin’,” the mellow “Lullaby of Broadway” and the lively “Sold” by John Michael Montgomery.

“Pizazz Jazz” and a structured improvisation called “West Middle East” will feature DALA’s jazz students. The Advanced Jazz class will also perform a trio of dances, including “The Widows,” a poignant dance dedicated to those who have lost their military spouses in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Intermediate Modern will have patrons laughing out loud with “The Prom Queens.” Advanced Modern will offer a complete change of pace in “If I Told You,” an intricate free-form ensemble piece.

Spanish dance students will give a demonstration of castanets, and perform “Sevillanas.” This Spanish style of dance is a precursor to the classical ballet of today and is now taught in a growing number of schools around the world.

Special guest performers will be Alina Deshpande’s Indian Dance class from the Los Alamos YMCA. The students will perform “Butterfly Dance” and “Taraana,” dances performed to instrumental Indian music in the Kathak north Indian classical dance style.

The Spring Showcase Recital also will kick off the summer season at DALA. Summer intensives in June, and regular weekly classes in July, will be offered at the DALA White Rock Studio, 111 Longview Drive.

Christin Severini, who returned to DALA as a ballet faculty member in March, will offer a full range of ballet classes this summer. Severini, a teacher, dancer and choreographer, is a former dancer with American Ballet Theatre in New York City and has performed extensively in numerous full length and repertory ballets throughout the country and around the world.

She recently attended American Ballet Theatre’s alumni training program where she earned her designation as a certified teacher for ABT’s National Training Curriculum in primary through level 3.

DALA will offer three weeks of intensive classes in June, and regular weekly classes in July.

The June intensives will feature classes that meet from Monday through Thursday for one week: from 9:15-11:30 a.m. June 2-5 will be Ballet 2/3, and Ballet 4/5 will be held from noon-2:30 p.m., both classes will be taught by Severini.

June 9-12, from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Severini’s Ballet 4/5 will be offered; Langan’s Beginning Scottish Highland will be held from 1-2 p.m.; her Intermediate Scottish Highland will be offered from 2-3 p.m.; and Silks’ Creative Dance for ages 4-6 will be held from 3:30-5 p.m. Creative Dance will include technique, story time about the ballet “Sleeping Beauty,” choreography based on the ballet and crafts.

June 16-19, Silks’ Creative Dance for ages 4-6, based on the ballet “Coppelia,” will be offered from 9:30-11 a.m. Severini’s Ballet 4/5 will be scheduled from 1:30-4 p.m.; and her Ballet 2/3 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. will be available.

Regular weekly summer classes will take place from June 30 to July 31.

Mondays, Silks’ Creative Movement for ages 3-4 will be from 1-1:30 p.m.; she will also teach Creative Movement/Pre Ballet for ages 5-7 from 1:30 -2:30 p.m. Niemeyer’s Hip Hop for all ages will be held from 6- 7 p.m.; Niemeyer will also teach Family Tap from 7-8 p.m.

Tuesdays, Ellen Walton’s Creative Movement/Pre-Ballet for ages 5-7, will be offered from 9:30- 10:15 a.m.; her Ballet 1/2 will be offered from 10:15-11:30 a.m.; and her Ballet 3 will be from 3:30-5 p.m. Walton will also teach Ballet 4/5/Adult from 5:15-6:45 p.m. and Pointe from 6:45-7:45 p.m.

Wednesdays, Ballet 2, from 1:30- 2:45 p.m. will be offered; Ballet 4/5/Adult from 3-4:30 p.m. will be held; and Severini’s Pointe and Variations will be from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Thursdays, Walton’s Ballet 3/4 and Spanish Dance from 1:30-3:15 p.m. will be held; and her Ballet 4/5/Adult from 3:15-5 p.m., will be offered.

Registration and tuition information is available at www.danceartslosalamos.org. For more information, call 672-9462 or e-mail office@danceartslosalamos.org.

Dance Arts Los Alamos is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization led by volunteers, and supported by the efforts and contributions of families and friends.

During the regular school year from August through May, DALA offers classes at Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church. Boys dance on tuition scholarships on a space-available basis.