Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer dance students have a bright future

From the piece “Transitions,” choreographed by Sarah Harkness-Sebastian.  The dancers pictured are (left to right): Kristi Grainger, Justin Nunez and Betsy Park.  Photo by -  Nicholas Park.
     The Valencia Dance Department recently presented its Summer Repertory Concert, a unique event that showcases students majoring in Dance Performance, and high school students that participate in the Valencia Summer Dance Institute, a free four-week summer program designed to inform, instruct, and recruit dancers for future admittance to Valencia's Associate in Arts Dance Performance Degree.

     “Our dancers, in addition to our theater and music students work extremely hard throughout the year” said Dr. Suzanne R. Salapa the Director of Dance at the Valencia's East Campus. “We work carefully to select works that will have a broad appeal.”

     The concert featured a large number of dancers performing 12 different pieces highlighted with classical music, special lighting effects and beautifully choreographed movements. This included segments like “Dream Work” a performance piece choreographed by Valencia alumni Ashley Hymson. There were also several additional guest artists and choreographers from across Florida and the nation.

     “Dancing is a great way to express your feelings through your body, and exactly what you feel you can share with the audience” said Ismael Torres a second year Valencia dance major who has studied and performed live for over seven years. “It's refreshing to go out and see a classic style performance in a world of reality TV garbage on every channel.”

     Audience members raved about the quality of the concert and talent of the students involved. “The instructors do such a great job with theses student dancers, and create a performance that is entirely enjoyable” said concert attendee Bruce Thoms.

     “There are so many talented dancers on stage, I love coming out to show support for my fellow dance majors” said Valencia dance student Lauren Scruton.

     If you missed the Summer Repertory Concert, or enjoyed this performance and want to see more, plan to attend “The Choreographer’s Showcase” in the Fall. This is scheduled at the end of the Fall semester Nov. 18 and 19, and is focused solely on performance pieces choreographed by Valencia students.

     Tickets for the 2011-2012 season can be purchased online by going to the Valencia Arts and Entertainment wed site at

     The goal of the Valencia Dance Program is to be committed to students who desire dance as a professional career, and novice students who would like to experience a new form of artistic expression. For more information go to there web site at or call the box office at (407-582-2900)
By James Tutten

(Published: July 27, 2011 issue of "Valencia Voice" on page 8.)


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