Hun­dreds of dancers to tread the boards

Evening Express (City Final) - The Guide - - Arts And Stage - By Sonja Ras­mussen

DANCE teacher Karen Berry is not a woman who shirks a chal­lenge. Next week, the ju­nior sec­tion of her school per­forms a show at Aberdeen Arts Cen­tre – and each night, 150 dancers will take the stage. That adds up to a whop­ping 450 chil­dren back­stage and tread­ing the boards of the King Street theatre. She ex­plains: “We have three sep­a­rate shows so the whole school does not take part in ev­ery per­for­mance. There are about 150 dancers each night – I prom­ise they’re not all on stage at the same time!” In Move It! the grass­roots tal­ent of Karen Berry School of Dance will show off their love of dance by twirling, skip­ping and tap­ping their tiny feet across the stage. Says Karen: “The ju­nior show gives our younger dancers the chance to shine. The se­nior show is next year at His Majesty’s, and the baby classes per­form Move It Baby! at the Beach Ball­room on March 27 – so each age group has the chance to have their mo­ment in the spot­light. “With this ju­nior age group, the dance teach­ers can be quite cre­ative with the themes that they use – we have the En­chanted King­dom for the bal­let classes and Dis­ney won­der­land for the jazz and tap classes “The show also gives the chance for all our dancers of that age to come to­gether and per­form as one. We have var­i­ous schools through­out the city and they all take the stage to­gether in Move It!” The Arts Cen­tre is the per­fect venue for the ju­niors, the youngest of whom are in Pri­mary 1, as it is “very in­ti­mate” says Karen. “It is big enough to give them a taste of per­form­ing on a stage and not too big to be scary.” Per­form­ing in a show is an im­por­tant ex­pe­ri­ence for the young dancers. “They love that thrill of per­form­ing. No amount of class work could ever repli­cate that ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing on stage,” says Karen. “The ex­cite­ment of be­ing on stage, the au­di­ence clap­ping, gives them so much self­con­fi­dence. They get the buzz that be­ing on a stage al­ways brings.” There is an­other rea­son too, says Karen. “It also lets them see what is achiev­able through their weekly classes, learn­ing their tech­nique and prac­tis­ing. We don’t ex­pect them all to be bal­leri­nas or the next Billy El­liot, how­ever ev­ery child de­serves the chance to think ‘I can do that, I can dance on a stage’. “Per­fec­tion comes with prac­tice, and per­for­mance is the re­sult of that.” Karen Berry School of Dance per­forms Move It! at Aberdeen Arts Cen­tre next Thurs­day to Satur­day at 7.30pm. Lim­ited tick­ets are avail­able.

GET­TING SET: Young­sters pre­pare to take part in Move It!

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