“Five, four, three, two, one, ready…”
The music begins. Foreheads are glistening because they’ve already gone through a few numbers but still the energy level is high.
One of the girls goes into the air and is passed overhead by her fellow dancers.
“Slow guys. Be careful with her.”
The grade 11/12 SAS dance and musical theatre students are in the final days of rehearsal for their winter show. As the music ends teacher Danielle Berger gives a quick critique: “More energy throughout the dance. Your entrance was fun – I saw energy coming on. More faces, more energy.”
As they go through some more numbers Berger is obviously pleased, nodding and smiling and she can’t help tapping her foot to the music.
As the class ends she tells them it will be costume day next week. Berger sits on the steps and fields various questions as the students pass by. She smiles as she talks about her students and, clearly, she is very proud of them.
“It’s cool. There are a variety of dancers. Some are senior dancers at local dance studios and some have never been on a stage before. It’s been a cool experience.”
The range in dance experience is exactly what the students themselves enjoy.
Jaden Turner is a a grade 12 student and one of the senior dancers at Just For Kicks.
“What’s fun is that there are so many different levels. You see all the different capabilities of dance and we work together to do the best we can.”
Jenna Biles, also a grade 12 student, is one of those who has never had a dance class.
“I like to dance at home though,” she says smiling.
Biles went way out of her comfort zone by joining this class. Not only had she never danced, she was new to town and SAS. As intimidating as it was to join the class, it wasn’t that way for long because her fellow students were quick to help.
“Everyone was super friendly and helpful. Everyone is really nice.”
The dances include a variety of styles and the music will take many down memory lane.
“The show opens with the 80s and we’ll bring you all the way up to pop music of 2017, and we have numbers like ‘Summer Nights’ from Grease,” says Berger.
She is hoping for a big turnout for the Winter Dance Recital because the 45 dancers have put in a lot of hours to get ready for their big show.
“This is an opportunity for the kids to showcase their talents and hard work. They’ve been working since September and I think it’s cool to have this opportunity of different levels of dancers sharing the stage at the same time.”
The Winter Dance Recital takes place three nights, December 18, 19, 20 at the SAS Sullivan Theatre. Doors open at 6 p.m. with start time of 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $8. They can be purchased at the school office ahead of time, or at the door.