Christie Ginanni, a dance instructor for Elevation Dance Studio, teaches an intermediate dance class Tuesday. She will be choreographing a piece for the Steamboat Dance Theatre Annual Concert in March. Auditions are at 2 p.m. Sunday at the studio.

Photo by John F. Russell

Christie Ginanni, a dance instructor for Elevation Dance Studio, teaches an intermediate dance class Tuesday. She will be choreographing a piece for the Steamboat Dance Theatre Annual Concert in March. Auditions are at 2 p.m. Sunday at the studio.

Steamboat Dance Theatre to hold annual auditions Sunday

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If you go

What: Steamboat Dance Theatre Annual Concert auditions

When: Registration at 2 p.m., auditions at 3 p.m. Sunday

Where: Elevation Dance Studio, 326 Oak St.

Cost: $20 in membership fees

Auditions are open to male and female dancers of all levels, high school age and older. No experience is necessary, and everyone who tries out will be cast in the show.

— More than turns, leaps and leotards, dance is just good for the soul, said Traci Cameron, Steamboat Dance Theatre president.

“It’s psychologically proven to be one of the things that creates joy,” she said. “In hard times, it’s a good release and a way to do something positive. It’s tapping into that creative side we don’t get to use in our everyday lives.”

Steamboat Dance Theatre’s goal is to bring that release and soul-feeding artistic expression to as many people as possible in the community through enrichment, scholarships for dance lessons and school-based dance programs.

Its largest fundraiser of the year is the Steamboat Dance Theatre Annual Concert, scheduled for March 10 to 12, featuring more than 100 performers from the community participating in dance pieces of all styles.

The 38th annual auditions will take place Sunday and are open to anyone in the community with any level of dance experience, fusing the joy of dance with the opportunity to be involved with a community fundraiser.

Last year, the funds raised by the show allowed Steamboat Dance Theatre to increase its local dance class scholarships, helping people ages 3 to 60 enjoy the art of dance during difficult economic times.

To be a part of the show, males and females high school age and older can register at 2 p.m. Sunday at Elevation Dance Studio. The group will warm up, and auditions for the 16 dance pieces will begin at 3 p.m.

Participants can choose which piece to audition for based on the style, level of experience and rehearsal schedule.

A one-time fee of $20 includes participation in the program through the performance in March.

“Basically, that gets you sort of free dance classes for six months,” Artistic Director Tiana Buschmann said. “You go to a rehearsal once a week, and you are being taught how to dance. It’s a really great experience. There’s a lot of camaraderie, and it’s a great group of people. It’s a really neat way to get involved in the community.”

A touch of Hollywood

After nearly four decades, the production team decided to tackle a new concept in this year’s show, Buschmann said.

All of the dance pieces will tie into the show’s theme, “A Night in Hollywood.”

“We decided we wanted to try something new and bring some cohesiveness to the whole show,” she said. “It’s presenting a new, exciting challenge for the choreographers to branch out and do something a little bit different.”

This year, an Irish and folk dance piece will represent stories from “Titanic,” and “The Godfather” inspired a contemporary jazz piece.

There will be nuances of James Bond films and explosive energy and colors inspired by “Hairspray” and “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” wrapped into dance styles such as African, hoop, belly and hip-hop dancing.

New this year will be a Zumba-inspired mambo piece that choreographer Renee Fleischer said was inspired by “Mambo Kings” and Antonio Banderas’ Cuban flare.

“The audience will really enjoy it,” Buschmann said about the show in March. “Essentially, those are our supporters. In the end, that’s what we’re working towards: having the audience walk away with a particular feeling. A (dance) piece can make you feel happy, sad or liberated. The goal of choreographing a piece is to evoke some kind of emotion.”

Not only is the show intended to leave the audience reeling in emotion, it has an impact on the dancers, who will rehearse together an hour per week until the show.

“The relationships you form are a lasting bond,” Cameron said. “The best friends in my life I’ve met through this program.”

— To reach Nicole Inglis, call 871-4204 or e-mail ninglis@steamboatpilot.com

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