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Monday, June 24, 2024
HomeReviewsThe Sun Shines on Everyone: Sterling Dance Concert 2023

The Sun Shines on Everyone: Sterling Dance Concert 2023

For a dance concert titled “The Sun Shines on Everyone”, there was a lot of rain when it came time to perform. Sterling Dance was originally slated to perform on June 24th and 25th, but due to inclement weather, the dates were moved to June 26th and 27th.

Though both performances were similar, the concert on Monday, June 26 featured the younger levels’ ballet pieces, while the con­cert on Tuesday, June 27 featured their tap and jazz dances. The pieces for the more ad­vanced dancers remained the same.

The pieces performed at the dance con­cert were choreographed by Sterling Dance teachers, all of whom have been profession­al dancers. Sterling teachers and choreogra­phers are Renee Moe, Kelly Sue Coyle, and Erin Wourms; while guest teachers and cho­reographers included Ellen Keane and Sarah White Ritchie. Sterling dancers Aili Gischia and Brie Svendsen serve as assistant teachers for the younger students.

Sterling dancers gather backstage before the performance. (Photo courtesy Renee Moe)

Each night’s performance opened with Sar­ah White Ritchie of the Minnesota Ballet, el­egantly performing to “No Day But Today”. This was followed by the more advanced jazz dancers performing “Express Yourself.”

Scarlett Hietala then danced to “Always in Our Hearts,” a heartfelt dance created to hon­or the memory of her sister, Chloe Hietala, and Pamela Moe-Kaviani, the sister of Ster­ling Dance’s Founder and Artistic Director Renee Moe.

Each set of dances was preceded by a mu­sical interlude, thus enabling dancers to pre­pare for their next selection. This year’s mu­sicians were Nikolaus Wourms, guitarist and former Minnesota Ballet company member; Paul Deaner, musician and founder of the Lake Superior Community Theater; and Kim Costley Smoltz, formerly of Two Harbors, a singer in Portland area tribute bands. A crowd favorite was the Kit Kat break. Each year, Su­per One of Two Harbors donates mini Kit Kat bars for the audience to enjoy while waiting for the next dance pieces.

Both night’s attendees were treated to solo pieces of varying styles by three of the ad­vanced students. Brie Svendsen danced to “Somebody to Love”, Aili Gischia danced to “Higher”, and Akaya Anzik danced to “I’ll Be Seeing You.”

Advanced ballet students Akaya Anzik, Aili Gischia, Hanna Searls, and Aneliese Scriven presented several beautiful ballet pieces. “La Esmeralda” was performed en pointe. These dancers also performed “Summer Sky”. Macy Hamilton joined them for “Paquita” and “Easy.”

Intermediate ballet students Iris Cannon, Macy Hamilton, Addison Hastings, Toby McDonald, Wynne Scandin, and Hazel Wood presented pieces suited for the season: “Pink Hue Sunset” and “A Summer Waltz”.

Sarah White Ritchie was stunning in her piece, “Lilac Variation” from the classical ballet Sleeping Beauty.

“We Know the Way” was featured on June 26, a lively tap piece performed by Akaya Anzik, Aili Gischia, Aneliese Scriven, and Brie Svendsen. A selection of Disney songs, complete with cookies served to the audience during “Be Our Guest”, entertained perfor­mance-goers at the Tuesday performance. The Disney pieces were performed by nu­merous dancers from all levels – including toddler Georgia Ritchie, daughter of Sarah White Ritchie.

A catchy tap piece done to “One Jump Ahead” was delivered by Iris Cannon, Macy Hamilton, Addison Hastings, Toby McDon­ald, Wynne Scandin, and Hazel Wood.

Monday’s attendees had the opportunity to watch all ballet dancers perform a set of piec­es appropriately titled “Summer Sky”.

Both evenings concluded with a finale en­titled “The Sun Shines on Everyone”, danced by all Sterling dancers and crew. The night of the 27th, just as the lyrics sang When it rains/ it rains on everyone, the rain started to fall, making a memorable end to Sterling Dance’s 29th annual dance concert.

Renee Moe says that “seeing the older dancers assisting our younger dancers warms my heart.” She is “thankful to the many Ster­ling Dance family members who helped with so many behind-the-scenes details. We have an exceptional technical crew and live mu­sicians who shared their gifts. We are very grateful to the dancers who performed beau­tifully. Those kids light up my life, and I thank God for each of them.”

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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