Hard work and heart

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— After months of choreographing, rehearsing and planning, the Steamboat Springs High School dancers are ready to showcase their efforts without any help from adults.

It's time for the annual Dance Showcase; an entirely student-run production that allows participants to experience the demands of putting on their own show. In addition to performing, students set the choreography and even designed the costumes.

"I think it's good to see what we can do by ourselves," said senior Annie Markowitz, who's one of the directors of the show. "We've really pulled together a good show thanks to a lot of talented and creative dancers."

The show will feature a wide variety of pieces, including country, ballet, modern, and hip-hop. The show has 12 pieces and more than 45 people are involved.

"Everyone has put so many hours into this show," Markowitz said. "Each piece has had at least one practice per week, and most dancers are in four to five pieces."

Like Markowitz, fellow director Jill Wernig has been living for the Dance Showcase in recent weeks.

"The last two weeks I've been at school every day from 8 in the morning to 8 at night, and every weekend for the last three to four weeks," she said. "We've spent so much time trying to get it to come together."

Besides choreography and dancing, students are involved in lighting and sound direction, poster and program design, and fund raising.

"The Dance Showcase was first put on as a leadership project five years ago by Erin Scheiwe, and has been going on ever since," Wernig said. "This year the showcase is amazing. The pieces all have a lot of power and the choreography is really good and different."

The students received donations from different organizations in the community. Each dancer was required to gather at least $100.

"In the past years the dancers have had to pay $100 to $200 apiece for all the costumes" Wernig said. "The $2,000 raised this year will help us reimburse the dancers half the amount they're spending on their costumes."

A new addition this year is a video and slideshow that will play before the showcase, and a tribute to the seniors that will play afterward.

"Many members of the cast have danced together for years," said Lauren Dargevics, another director of the showcase. "Now, as seniors, we find ourselves dancing together for the last time. It's a bittersweet moment."

All the hard work and heart the dancers have put into the showcase is sure to come out on stage, the directors said.

"This show is great and wonderful. It really shows how we feel, the emotions behind the pieces, and the personalities of the different dancers," said Wernig. "The dancing really comes from the heart as the dancers show who they are and why they dance. Most of all, I think it proves that high schoolers can put together something huge and great."

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