Hundreds of dancers to tread the boards
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!