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Columns

St. Charles Dance Academy expands with new class, performance company and instructors

Auditions for dance companies set for Aug. 27

Registration is now open for the St. Charles Dance Academy with new opportunities for learning and performance.

The Dance Recital Program recently added a Lyrical/Contemporary class to develop interest in a genre that is performed at the Dance Company level. Also new this year is the Performance Company to provide an advanced level of dance without the competitions.

In the Dance Recital Program, which runs from Sept. 9 through May 2, students choose between a variety of genres including Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop, Jazz, Irish Step and Lyrical/Contemporary. Students as young as 2 and a half can participate. Classes meet once a week for 30 minutes to one hour. Students also have a chance to show off their skills on stage during the Winter Showcase and Spring Recital.

The program encourages dance skills while emphasizing poise, grace and coordination. Just as important, the program helps students gain confidence and social skills. As a result, they develop friendships and enjoy the camaraderie of the program.

For the youngest students, many times it’s their first time in a classroom environment, so they are gaining experience in listening, sharing and taking turns as well as body awareness and movement, according to Dance Supervisor Rosie Fasching.

The Dance Company and Performance Company take those skills learned in the Dance Recital Program to the next level with more performances and/or competitions. Auditions are required to be on the team, and will take place Aug. 27. Auditions for the Dance Company will be at 6 p.m. for ages 6 to 18, and for the Performance Company, from 5 to 6 p.m. for ages 5 to 18.

Both companies perform in the Winter Showcase, their own winter showcase and Spring Recital, as well as community events such as the Scarecrow Festival and St. Patrick’s Day Parade Dance Show. But whereas the Dance Company performs in local competitions, the Performance Company does not.

“We really wanted to bridge the gap between the Recital Program and the Dance Company, which is a big change in time and commitment,” Fasching said. “At the same time, not everyone wants to participate in competitions. We hope this new Performance Company encourages dancers to take on more, but without the commitment to compete.”

The dance companies encourage a team atmosphere like many other team sports.

“It really comes out during the performances and competitions, as they cheer each other on and build each other up,” Fasching said.

She said they also have a Big Sister, Little Sister program for support and mentorship.

During auditions, dancers will warm-up as a group, learn a short routine and then perform in front of a panel of judges who are instructors in the program. While participants are not required to come with a prepared routine, they will be able to perform a specialty skill.

Fasching said the program has added four new instructors who have experience teaching and/or dancing professionally.

“We are excited the program is expanding and growing and with that, we are bringing on more instructors with extensive dance experience,” she said.

All dance classes are held at Pottawatomie Community Center. For fees and to register, visit www.stcparks.org or call Rosie Fasching at 630-513-4334.

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