Dancers step lively Saturday

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By Special to the Monitor

Highland Fling, rock’ n’ rollin’ tappers and a teddy bear parade: Dance Arts Los Alamos’ youngest students will perform a program of dance at the annual Early Childhood Recital on Saturday.

The public is invited to this free performance at 10 a.m. at Pion Elementary School Gymnasium in White Rock, followed by a cookies and punch reception to honor the young dancers.

The Early Childhood Recital will showcase DALA’s Creative Movement, Creative Tap, Scottish Highland and Pre-Ballet classes, with tots as young as 3 performing. Also, three additional DALA classes will be guest artists at the recital, performing ballet and jazz.

The sound of the pipes will open the show. Marion Langan’s combined Scottish Highland classes will perform three dances, including a Highland Fling and the lively traditional Broadswords dance, to live bagpipes played by Paul Langan.

DALA’s Creative Movement 3 and 4-year-old classes will perform four dances. Valerie Silks’ boys class will present a colorful and energetic rendition of “Rainbow Connection” to the ballad made famous by Kermit the Frog. Anita Gandy’s 3 and 4-year-old girls will perform a perfect “10” with their adult partners in “Dancing with the Starlets,” performed to “Who Wouldn’t Love You,” sung by Kay Kyser.

Valerie Silk’s Saturday Creative 3s and 4s will offer “Teddy Bear Parade” to the music of Mozart, complete with lovable plush bears. “Do Re Mi” will feature eight little ladies dancing to a version of the well-known song from “The Sound of Music.”

Silk’s Creative Tap class, DALA’s youngest tappers ages 4 to 6, will perform an upbeat swing dance, “Rock-A-Beatin’ Boogie,” with music performed by the Brian Setzer Orchestra. Pre-Ballet students will perform “Awakening of the Butterflies,” a dance performed to “Dance of the Hours: Dawn” by Ponchielli. The dance combines the choreography of instructor Ellen Walton with improvisation by the dancers, who will represent the butterflies of spring.

The 5 and 6-year-old Creative Movement students will perform three dances.

Gandy’s Monday class will be “Sprites and Lilies” dancing to the music of Saint-Saens. The dancers will begin by showing off their locomotor skills with leaps, skips and bourres, and then demonstrate their personal dance styles.

Silks’ Saturday class, dressed in elegant velvet costumes with tiaras and crowns, will be princes and princesses in “At the Royal Palace” with music by Handel.

Silk’s Wednesday class, dressed in white tutus, will perform as a corps de ballet in “Swan Lake,” with music from Act II of the famous ballet by Tchaikovsky. The students have also been learning the story of “Swan Lake” each week in class.

Three other DALA classes will also perform in the Early Childhood Recital.

Beginning Ballet students in springtime lilac tutus will perform “In a Secret Garden” to music from “The Secret Garden” motion picture soundtrack composed by Zbingniew Preisner. Student instructor Caroline Wurden teaches the class. Advanced Beginning Ballet students of Silks will perform “Flames of Paris.” The students have also been learning about the French Revolution as they prepared their recital dance using music from the ballet “Flames of Paris,” by Boris Asafiev.

As an exhibition piece, Gandy’s Advanced Jazz and Contemporary Repertory class will close the recital with “USO Pinup Girls of 1944” danced to “G.I. Jive” by Johnny Mercer. The dance will feature teenagers Erin Burr, Bethany Letellier, Amanda Pabian, Shelby Stringer and Haley White.

The Early Childhood Recital is the first of two annual recitals performed by Dance Arts Los Alamos students. The Spring Showcase Recital will be performed at 7 p.m. May 31 at Duane W. Smith Auditorium.

The Spring Showcase will feature the artistry of DALA’s older dancers performing ballet and pointe, tap, Scottish Highland, Spanish dance, jazz, modern and hip hop. The public is invited to attend the Spring Showcase. Admission will be free, a “sweet” offering to the Los Alamos community in honor of DALA’s Sweet Sixteen anniversary.

Dance Arts Los Alamos, founded in 1992, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization led by volunteers. The school of dance offers classes in Los Alamos at Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church in the Parish Hall, lower level; and in White Rock at the Dance Arts Los Alamos Studio, 111 Longview Drive.

A professional, experienced faculty offers classes for age 3 to adult in all levels of ballet and pointe, Creative Movement, tap, jazz, modern, hip hop, Scottish Highland, Spanish dance, Pilates and fitness.

For more information, call 672-9462, e-mail office@danceartslosalamos.org, or see the DALA website at www.danceartslosalamos.org.