Pittsburg Virtual Festival of the Arts: Dance, Dance, Dance!

The talent of three area dance groups will be on display in the next offering in the Pittsburg Virtual Festival for the Arts, planned for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12. The festival, which kicked off on July 1 and featured…

Pittsburg Virtual Festival of the Arts: Dance, Dance, Dance!

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The talent of three area dance groups will be on display in the next offering in the Pittsburg Virtual Festival for the Arts, planned for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12.

The festival, which kicked off on July 1 and featured weekly concerts, has been a collaboration of The Bicknell Center, the PSU Department of Music, and local performers.

In the Aug. 12 show, performers will include members of Midwest Regional Ballet Company and School, PSU Dance students, and members of the YMCA Academy of Dance.

PSU Dance

Part of the Health, Human Performance, and Recreation Department, the PSU Dance program prepares students for managing or owning a dance studio, coaching a dance team at the middle school through collegiate level, incorporating rhythms and dance in the classroom or other setting, and more, said Professor Janice Jewett. The Dance minor also results in a Certificate in Dance upon completion of the coursework.

Two dance students, Hayley Monday and Reagan Almos, will perform numbers important to them for several reasons.

Monday will perform a number that reminds her how far she’s come since an injury, and one that is a reflection of how a dancer fights body image and societal standards.

Almos will perform to a song about dealing with hardships and troubles, and one that helped her build her self-confidence.

Midwest Regional Ballet

Don’t be mis-lead by the word “ballet.” This group’s contemporary dance performance will feature excerpts from the group’s original production, “Oz” — a retold rock variation of The Wizard of Oz — that had been planned for April but had to be postponed and includes music by David Bowe, the punk band The Upstarz, Transient Frank, Matt Morrison, and Todrick Hall.

Featured dancers include Libby Vogel as Scarecrow, Alora Spencer as Dorothy, Kim Sager as Lion, Elizabeth Reaves as Tin Man, and Genevieve Arehart as Toto.

Ensemble dancers include Sarah Williams, Kaytlyn Mittag, Ave Arehart, and Ainsley Smith.

The performance will include two numbers: “2012,” sung by composer Matt Mason, and “Home,” sung by Stephanie Mills. The group is under the direction of Kaye Lewis. 

YMCA Academy of Dance

The YMCA Academy of Dance will be featured, as well. Their competitive company, which includes dancers age 8 to 18 from Pittsburg, Frontenac, Girard, and Cherokee, competed at nationals this year in Branson, Missouri, and did very well, according to director Liz Hayes.

The academy will be sharing four dances from their 2020 show, “Portraits.”

“Molly” will be performed by Petite Company, average age 8 years old, whose members include Brynn Sukraw, Brynlee Elrod, Emerson Albright, Lundun Hickman, Madi Taylor, and Marley Shaw.

“Jenny” will be performed by Junior Company, average age 11 years old, whose members include Abby Albright, Erin Beaman, Leah Caskey, Anna Firman, Bella Foster, Adamari Levya, Rachel Norris, Kaity Popejoy, Olivia Schmidt, Addilyn Streeter, and Grace Wilson.

“Mr. Worldwide” will be performed by Teen Company, average age 13 years old, whose members include Amy Adamson, Lissette Allen, JayLynn Bingham, Ellie Carpenter, Haylee Caskey, Emma Eckstein, Addison Foster, Avery Harrison, Frida Ibarra, Faith Leonard, Emilee May, Maleia Sukraw, and Landon Vacca.

“Jolene” will be performed by Senior Company, average age 16 years old, whose members include Aubri Hoffman, Grace Hite, Carissa Marrone, Mattie Vacca, Lexi McGowen, Cassie Swezey, and Greely Arck.

The final concert of the series will be Aug. 19 and will feature three country music artists from the area.

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