Steamboat Dance Theatre returns for 42nd rendition |

Steamboat Dance Theatre returns for 42nd rendition

Dancer Heidi Miller performs at a rehearsal for Steamboat Dance Theatre. Shows are slated for 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. There also will be a matinee Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

— McKendrey McGown had finished Tuesday's rehearsal for her Irish dance piece and was buzzing up and down the auditorium at the Steamboat Springs High School auditorium.

As the youngest choreographer in the Steamboat Dance Theatre's 42nd production, her excitement radiated off her face.

She buzzed up and down the aisles, still on her tippy-toes, sometimes dancing to the music between pieces.

Sure, she's 17, and sure, she's a first-time choreographer for the annual dance production. But she was made for this.

"I wasn't nervous," she said. "I was practically born on stage."

McGown's Irish dance number is one of 17 in this year's production titled "This is Dance"

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The first show is at 7 p.m. Thursday in the high school auditorium. There also are 7 p.m. shows Friday and Saturday and a children's matinee at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $12 for students and seniors and $20 for reserved seating. Tickets are available here.

For the Steamboat Springs High School junior, dance always has been a key element in her life.

She has participated in Dance Theatre for five years and Irish dance for seven. When her Irish dance instructor left, it created a void in the Dance Theatre's Irish program. McGown stepped up and decided to choreograph.

Although she was instructing dancers who were older than her — including her dad, Chad — she said the process was seamless.

McGown said it was an honor to work with such experienced dancers, and she didn't receive much push back, even from her dad.

"I feel I can boss him around more than anyone else," she said. "Besides, he's bossed me around more than anyone in my life."

The Irish dance piece is just one highlight from the event that brings together community members and dancers of all abilities to put on a high level production. The 17 pieces include hip-hop, country, hoop, belly dancing, lyra dance, flamenco and roller skating, among others.

"It's all different styles," artistic director Steph Kohlhardt said. "No matter what you're into, you'll enjoy something. The pieces are absolute entertainment."

The show runs for about two hours and is for any age. Proceeds from the event help fund dance outreach programs in Routt County.

Last year, the group funded more than $10,000 in local dance scholarships.

Some tickets will be available at the door, but Friday night's show was nearly sold out. Kohlhardt said people should buy early, especially for reserved seating.

"The show is incredibly entertaining this year," she said.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229, email or follow him on Twitter @LukeGraham

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