Auditions to be held for annual performance

This year will include jazz, African, modern pieces

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What: Auditions for the 2006 Steamboat Dance Theatre concertWhen: 3 p.m. SundayWhere: Northwest Ballet, 326 Oak St.

— This is the year when you finally do it. This is the year when you finally audition for the Steamboat Dance Theatre.

Last March, when 90 dancers took the stage, you were sitting in your seat thinking, "I could do that."

Auditions for this year's Steam--boat Dance Theatre production will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Northwest Ballet Studio on Oak Street.

Anyone can try out, even those who have never danced before, choreographer Penny Hamilton said. Prepared audition pieces aren't necessary.

Choreographers will do a few dance steps in front of the group. Anyone who wants to audition for the piece will repeat the short routine.

"We watch how people move," Hamilton said. "We watch how fluid their body movement is and fit them to the right type of dance, whether it's hip hop, jazz or classical."

The choreographers met last Sunday to plan this year's Steamboat Dance Theatre concert.

This year's performance will include a comical jazz piece, a lyrical jazz piece, an African piece, a modern piece and an ethnic belly dance.

There also will be a ballroom dance piece choreographed by a woman who just moved to town. She has judged ballroom dancing across the country, Hamilton said.

"There will also be a few Cabaret pieces," she said. "There is something for everyone."

Every year, the concert involves several new dancers.

"I saw a few people who have never been in the dance theater before and who are not even dancers," Hamilton said. "I encouraged them to come.

"It's so fun for the audience to watch people they know and have seen around town on stage."

The Steamboat Dance Theatre's 34th annual concert is scheduled for March 2, 3 and 4.

The time commitment for anyone who participates depends largely on the dancer. For each piece, choreographers usually rehearse one to two hours a week.

Everyone who auditions Sunday will be given a part.

"That's what's so great about it," Ham--ilton said. "There aren't a lot of art forms where people can just audition and be promised a part."

Dancers should wear comfortable clothing to the auditions.

"Dress as though you're going to work out," Hamilton said. "Wear something you can move in."

-- To reach Autumn Phillips, call 871-4210 or e-mail aphillips@steamboatpilot.com

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