Dancers step lively for evolutionary performance

Heather Stranks and Jens Goerner of City Dance Studio practice a graceful number for the upcoming event Dance: The Evolution, to be held Saturday at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre. - Natalia Vignola/Morning Star
Heather Stranks and Jens Goerner of City Dance Studio practice a graceful number for the upcoming event Dance: The Evolution, to be held Saturday at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre.
— image credit: Natalia Vignola/Morning Star

From the beginning of civilization, people have danced. They have danced to celebrate, entertain, communicate, and they have danced for the sheer joy of dancing.

On Saturday, talented professional and amateur dancers from several Okanagan studios, along with the vocal prowess of Melina Moore, showcase the evolution of dance and music throughout the ages.

Presented by Vernon’s City Dance Studio, Dance: The Evolution takes place at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre and chronicles the evolution of music and dance from the beginning of civilization with a First Nations dance troupe to Viennese waltz, classical ballet, Charleston, jive, hip hop, salsa, samba and everything in between.

“Approximately 100 dancers are involved in the show,” said City Dance owner Heather Stranks. “Our goal was to introduce dance to the community in all its genres and to also present it in a fun way that may encourage more people to learn to dance. We also wanted to bring several studios together on one stage to showcase local talent.”

Music will also run the gamut from opera to The Beatles, country, Latin, modern and more.

“We are thrilled to be joined by the amazing Melina Moore who will be adding her beautiful voice to many of the dance routines,” said Stranks, adding Moore is also dancing in three numbers in the show.

The local coloratura soprano will be joined on some musical numbers by fellow chanteuse Judy Rose as well as tenor Paul Rossetti, whom Moore recently shared the stage with in the local production of The Sound of Music.

“Costuming is extensive with some groups having the ladies in full-length, dance-style ballroom gowns and the men in tails,” added Stranks. ”We have go-go dancers, jive with aerials, hustle in Studio 54, a Thriller number complete with fog and zombies,  an Irish dance group from Kelowna, etc.”

Those interested not only in seeing dance in all its forms, but participating, have the opportunity as City Dance, which is celebrating its one-year-anniversary in Vernon, offers practice dances at its studio on 29th Street every Friday evening that are open to the general public as well as to its students.

“We felt that there was a need in town for a place not only to learn to dance but to be able to practice what they’ve learned,” said Stranks. “There are regularly 30 to 50 dancers on any given Friday. It definitely was a need.”

Dance: The Evolution takes the stage at the Performing Arts Centre Saturday, Feb. 23 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35/adult, $28 senior/student 18 and under at the Ticket Seller box office, 250-549-7469, www.ticketseller.ca.

Partial proceeds will go to the Have a Heart Radiothon which benefits the women and children’s ward at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.



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