Dance instructors join forces

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— A couple of well-known names of dance in the Yampa Valley joined forces to form a very likely partnership.

Karin Comeau of Rocky Mountain Dance and Stephanie Reese of Steamboat Ballet have combined their instructing talents to introduce Steamboat Ballet School of Dance to the community next month.

The union means Comeau and her students will move over to the Steamboat Ballet studio at Riverside Center on Sept. 4. When she gets there, a second dance studio will have been added on, allowing Reese and Comeau to hold classes at the same time.

"It seems like a logical decision because I like to work with the young children and Stephanie likes to work with the older kids," Comeau said.

Classes will range through several age groups and genres of dance, including jazz and tap.

For 25 years, Comeau has taught dance to the children in the Yampa Valley, recently specializing in working with grade-school pupils. Meanwhile, Reese has focused on giving older students with serious intentions of professional dance careers an opportunity to get a foot in the door to that world.

With the two instructors working together, ideas will be shared and some recital tensions will be eased.

Comeau will have a recital for younger dancers separate from the older students. However, the performances will be the same weekend, which makes stage and lighting setup easier.

"It's also opened up an opportunity to bring in other instructors," Reese said.

With the addition of the second studio, some of the vacant time will be used to bring in guest dance instructors who want to teach specialized forms of dance.

The new partners also hope to rent out studio space for aerobics or similar activities.

For Comeau, having the new studio is an opportunity for her students to feel a little more immersed in the art of dance.

Among other things, partnering with Comeau allows Reese to pursue another dance venture she has always wanted to do: the formation of a ballet company.

That won't happen until things get rolling with the Steamboat Ballet School of Dance, but Reese is set on doing it. The company would provide students with an intense study of ballet that will be capped off with a full-length ballet performance.

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