A touch of class

Dance Showcase redefines its image

— Last year, the Steamboat Springs Dance Showcase was criticized because some people thought portions of the showcase were inappropriate.

This year, Dance Show-case organizers decided to tackle the criticism head on. The title of this year's show is "A Touch of Class."

"We want people to remember the dances, not the outfits and the songs," said show director and choreographer Jessy Dover. "People get the wrong impression because they don't know dance. Hip-hop is pretty provocative anyways."

The planning for this show began the day after last year's show, and dancers have been training every day for the past three months. "We've been working really hard all year. Last year, people wanted to shut it down. That made us work harder," show director Hannah Bowers said.

The focus this year is on variety and diversity. African, hip-hop, Latin, lyrical, '80s and belly dancing will be represented. To celebrate the showcase's 10th anniversary, one of the original pieces from the first showcase has been restaged.

Bowers thinks each piece shines in its own way. "They are all really good and really strong this year," she said.

Every aspect of the show is run by students, and all of the talent comes from the high school. Some students have never had any formal dance training. The dancers are also soccer, volleyball, basketball, lacrosse and tennis players. All the stage techs are students, and the high school's advanced video production team is filming the showcase and selling DVDs.

Of the 65 dancers, there are at least 12 boys who were individually invited to participate. The 14 routines were choreographed by 17 students.

"There is so much diversity in the show. We can showcase everyone's talents," said Katie Matteo, producer and choreographer.

Dancers are allowed to be in a maximum of five pieces. This cuts down on the time in between dances because there are fewer quick changes and it eliminates seeing the same faces in all the routines.

The dancers and choreographers have a lot to prove this year, but they also have a lot to be proud of. For Matteo, the joy comes from the finished product. "It's about seeing all your hard work come out into something," Matteo said.

But the pressure is on. "If the show doesn't come out good, it comes back to us," Bower said.

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