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Cook County YMCA Dance Program Gets Ready for Spring Recital  

On May 11th, 12th, and 13th, the Cook County YMCA Dance Program will host their seventh annual recital. The theme of this year’s recital is “Starry Night” and will feature 95 dancers ranging in age from pre­school to adult and from beginning levels to years of experience in tap, jazz, ballet, and modern.

In 2011, Lenna Stever-Sobanja founded Lenna’s Dance Program in Grand Marais. In January 2014, Lenna’s Dance Program became the Cook County YMCA Dance Program, and in the Fall of 2014, Christine Curtis and Breana Johnson began running the program.

Lenna Stever-Sobanja began dancing at eight years old, learning under Renee Moe in Grand Marais. She continued taking classes from Moe, guest instructors, Zenon Dance, and other Minnesota studios until she graduated from Cook County High School in 2003. Stever-Sobanja then went on to study dance at the University of Minneso­ta, Zenon Dance School, and Maple Street Dance. She currently teaches intermediate tap and studies jazz and ballet under Chris­tine Curtis.

Christine Curtis “started dancing at the age of four and has not stopped since.” She has studied ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, lyrical, theat­rical, and modern under multiple teachers in Iowa and Minnesota. After moving to Grand Marais, Curtis began to dance with Renee Moe and Sterling Dance. She has taught for Sterling and currently teaches ballet and jazz with the Cook County YMCA Dance Program.

According to Breana Johnson, “Christine teaches the most classes and takes on a lot behind the scenes, so she definitely deserves the most credit.”

Breana Johnson began her dance journey at the age of three. She has studied tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, theatrical, lyrical, and mod­ern and has danced with the Stuart Pimsler Dance Theater, the University of Wisconsin – River Falls Dance Theatre, and Sterling Dance. Johnson has a minor in dance ed­ucation from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls and teaches jazz, ballet, and beginner tap at the Cook County YMCA Dance Program.

The Cook County YMCA Dance Program offers ballet classes for preschool through adult; jazz and ballet combination classes for second through twelfth grade; and tap class­es for sixth grade through adult. Learn more about the program and grab tickets for the recital by visiting https://www.duluthymca.org/programs/sports-and-rec/cook-county/dance-and-cheer.

Haley Searls
Haley Searls
Hello! My name is Haley Searls. I’ve loved writing from an early age, though my nonfiction writing at five years old consisted mainly of weather and gardening reports. I still have some of those early articles: “It’s sunny.” “It’s still sunny.” “It’s raining.” I’m glad to say my writing has improved since then. I wrote a guest post for the Silver Bay Public Library blog, and was the writer/editor of the newsletter for my American Heritage Girls troop. I have been writing for the North Shore Journal since June 2022. Besides writing, I love reading, drawing, photography, music, and spending time with family and friends. Two books that have really influenced my writing are Reforming Journalism by Marvin Olasky and Writer to Writer by Bodie and Brock Thoene. As a journalist, I want to share positive community interactions and inspire people to make lasting connections. Article topics that interest me are ones which show community activities and involvement. Such articles include community events, youth accomplishments, library programming, small businesses, local history, local artists and authors, art programs, and cultural events such as theater and dance. If you have an article idea, email the North Shore Journal with my name in the subject line! I look forward to hearing from you!
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