Dancers to showcase talent

— Country, ballet, Pointe, jazz, African and ballroom dancing will be the highlights of the Steamboat Springs High School Dance Showcase featuring about 50 high school students.

At 7 p.m. tonight, experienced and novice dancers will show off their talent in an entirely student-run event. The only teachers, parents or coaches at the event will be in the audience supporting the dance organization.

"We're a group of kids that are leading ourselves. We're professional," said director Marisa Dierkes, a senior.

This year's high school dance showcase contains six directors who have worked together since spring 2001 and throughout the summer to create three evenings of dance for the community.

Dancers will perform at 7 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday at the high school theater.

Auditions were held in October when directors found they had to cut about eight choreographed pieces created by students.

Junior Abby Fritz, who will take over direction when her five co-directors graduate this spring, said about half of the students involved in the dance showcase have been with professional dance companies for most of their lives. Other dancers just wanted to try something different, she said.

"We need to practice a lot, like every day," junior Mike Holland said at rehearsal Monday night.

For many seniors, this is the last opportunity to dance with friends but some of their first steps understanding organization and responsibility, the directors said.

Fritz said being open minded and listening to everyone's thoughts is an important aspect of being a director. These are qualities she will carry into next year's direction, she said.

The high school showcase team has raised enough money through bake sales and company donations to pay for most of the diverse costumes and technical operations. The directors focused on costumes, fund-raisers and different lighting perspectives for this year's event.

Six years ago, former student Erin Scheiwe began the dance showcase as a student leadership project intended for future students to run.

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