Dance studios team up for showcase

Even Dance and Okanagan Dance Studios are teaming up to perform A Winters Dance to Warm the Heart at the Cleland Theatre on Nov. 30

A WINTERS DANCE to Warm the Heart will see Okanagan Dance Studios and Even Dance team up for the first time at the Cleland Theatre on Nov. 30 as part of the Children’s Showcase.

A WINTERS DANCE to Warm the Heart will see Okanagan Dance Studios and Even Dance team up for the first time at the Cleland Theatre on Nov. 30 as part of the Children’s Showcase.

Even Dance and Okanagan Dance Studios are teaming up for the very first time to bring a broad spectrum of song and dance to the stage of the Cleland Theatre.

A Winter’s Dance to Warm the Heart will take on jazz, tap ballroom and ballet with 75 dancers ages five to 19 taking the stage on Nov. 30 at 2 p.m.

The performance will feature familiar carols, Christmas classics and a few songs from the immensely popular Disney animated film Frozen.

“The kids are really excited about that,” said Ashlie Atkinson, musical theatre instructor at Even Dance.

Even Dance will be taking on the first half of the performance with a younger performers ranging from five to 10 years old. The group started rehearsal at the end of September and has been having fun with costumes and songs based on source material the children are particularly fond of. Including the snowman from Frozen, Olaf.

“The kids are all excited to be on stage. We’ve got a little guy dressed up as Olaf and he’s been practicing in his costume in the studio, so there has been a few laughs,” Atkinson said.

Atkinson will be getting in character herself, dressing up as the protagonist of the film Elsa.

“The things I get wrangled in to,” she laughed. “It’s going to be fun.”

The students will perform numbers featuring ballet, tap, ballroom and jazz performances.

“We’re trying to incorporate as many styles as we can in our little time slot,” Atkinson said.

Children’s Showcase brought both dance studios in Penticton together for the event, something that hasn’t happened before.

“We’ve never done anything like this before the two dance studios collaborating so it’s kind of neat because they bring something totally different,” Atkinson said.

Even Dance is taking on the first half of the show, with Okanagan Dance taking the reigns after intermission.

Their performance will feature dancers from a higher age range with 50 Okanagan Dance Studio students ages seven to 18 taking the stage.

The second half of the performance will feature Okanagan Dance Studio’s take on the classic Tchaikovsky ballet The Nutcracker.

Some of the classic songs will be performed by the book, but others will feature a little holiday twist to energize the show.

“We have some classical themes. Waltz of the Snowflake will be exactly the way it was for the ballet,” said Traci Bourne, artistic director of Okanagan Dance Studios.

The studio will have their own take on Land of the Sweets with a tap number called Hot Chocolate as well as jazz performances to some famous Christmas carols. The performance will feature a multitude of props and costumes including snowflakes, gingerbread houses and candy canes.

With the large amount of students to co-ordinate each teacher has taken on their specific piece of the performance with their class. The weekend prior to the show saw them bringing all of the different pieces together for the collaboration.

“Over the weekend we will be gelling it all together for the show, so it takes a while,” said Bourne.

The last few days leading up to the performance will see the two studios coming together and working out the nuances before showtime.

“We’re two different studios, but we kind of do the same thing, so it should be great and great for the community,” Bourne said.

For more information or tickets visit www.childrensshowcase.org or call 250-493-0475.