Steamboat high school Dance Showcase premieres Thursday |

Steamboat high school Dance Showcase premieres Thursday

Nicole Inglis

Dancers perform in a dress rehearsal for this year's Dance Showcase, which will take place in the Steamboat Springs High School auditorium at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

— Christi Valicenti and Willow Post are about to graduate high school. As one of their last accomplishments as high school students, dancers and best friends, the girls spent hours after school and on weekends for the past several months creating something all their own.

It only lasts a few minutes, but the dance they choreographed together, called "Kitchen," projects the playfulness, rebellion and innocence of youth that they are about to leave behind.

On Wednesday afternoon during dress rehearsal for the 16th annual Steamboat Springs High School Dance Showcase, Post, Valicenti and a group of girls on the auditorium stage were dressed in multicolored shirts and starched white aprons. They were admonished by an offstage voice, then an R&B song blared and the girls — mops, brooms and all — broke into song.

"We all mess off in the kitchen," Post said after rehearsal. "Your mom says, 'Wash the dishes,' and you think, 'Let's dance instead of wash the dishes.'"

Post and Valicenti always have loved to dance, but it's hard to fit that hobby in with all the others: the sports, extracurriculars, social lives and plans for the future.

But the Dance Showcase is worth it.

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"It's really unique to have a show like this that's run by students and created by their own personalities and individuality," Valicenti said. "It's so creative."

The 16th annual student-created show, titled "Audacity," premieres Thursday. The performances are at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Steamboat Springs High School auditorium. Tickets are $8 for students, $10 for adults and $12 for reserved seating.

The two-hour show features 17 pieces choreographed by high school students and overseen by a team of two student directors and two student producers. Two faculty members advised the program, but the artistic direction was student driven.

"It shows a lot of creativity," said Dani Perry, a director and Steamboat high school senior. "Every piece this year is really unique. There's a lot of theatrics."

From an electronic, mad-scientist-themed dance to a remixed "Nutcracker" piece, the 90 participants show off a variety of dance styles from belly-dancing, country, swing and lyrical to jazz and hip-hop.

"There's a lot of talent here that might not otherwise be seen," Perry said.

For her, the payoff comes when she sees her friends and classmates on the stage and when she stands under the colorful lights herself.

"It's the looks on the girls' faces, the passion they have," she said. "It's the satisfaction of it. I love expressing the emotion that can be behind the dances."

Director Maggie Stanford agreed that it's the emotionality of the movement that speaks the message of each piece.

"I love how everyone is different," she said. "No one does each move the same … even if you want it to be. That's the beauty of it."

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email

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