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HomeSportSterling Dance Presents Begin Again: 30th Anniversary Dance Concert

Sterling Dance Presents Begin Again: 30th Anniversary Dance Concert

Dancers collectively let out a sigh when the weather held Saturday, June 29th and Sunday, June 30th for Sterling’s outdoor dance concert at the Two Harbors Bandshell. Featuring a variety of dance styles, including tap, ballet, jazz, and contempo­rary, as well as cho­reography by various artists, the concerts were a fun sampling of what Sterling danc­ers have learned in the past year.

Saturday evening be­gan with an arrange­ment of various tap pieces set to music from The Sound of Music, Funny Girl, So­phisticated Ladies, A Chorus Line, Singin’ in the Rain, Annie, Foot­loose, Wicked, Fosse, Chicago, and Swing. Dancers were from all levels, entering and exiting the stage for their contribution to the mélange.

Aili Gischia per­formed a jazz solo next to an arrangement of songs from Fosse, and Akaya Anzik and Ane­liese Scriven followed with a duet to “In the Real World”. Teacher and former Minne­sota Ballet company member Sarah White Ritchie then danced to “No Day But Today”.

“Range of Emotions” came next, featuring jazz dancers of mul­tiple levels each con­tributing to this num­ber, an arrangement of various pieces show­casing the emotions of “freedom, tranquility, joy, fierce & strong, and love.”

Musical interludes broke up the various acts, featuring musi­cians Paul Deaner, Nik Wourms, and Scott Gischia, and singers Kim Costley Smoltz, Kristin Norlander, and Leah Carpenter.

Akaya Aili, Aneliese, and Brie Svendsen per­formed a lyrical jazz piece to “She Used to Be Mine” from the Broadway show Wait­ress. This was fol­lowed by a younger class (Anna C., Lillian C., Kodie O., Iljia P., Lyla P., Janey S., and Elin V.) performing ballet to “As It Should Be”.

The adult tap class performed next to the upbeat “I Feel Better When I’m Dancing”, featuring Sterling’s teachers at the end, as they showed off their tap moves too much.

Dancing en pointe were Akaya, Aili, An­eliese, Macy Hamil­ton, and Hanna Searls in “Little Bayaderes”. Brie then danced a jazz solo to Etta James’ “At Last”. Akaya, Aili, Macy, Aneliese, Han­na, Brie, and Toby Mc­Donald were next on the program, perform­ing a contemporary dance to Tori Kelly’s “Hallelujah”.

Sarah White Ritchie returned to the stage to perform the power­ful and elegant ballet piece “Dying Swan” which depicts the final moments of a swan’s life.

“Spanish Dance” was then performed by the intermediate and ad­vanced ballet dancers. Joining Akaya, Aili, Macy, Toby, Aneliese, Hanna, and Brie for this piece were Iris Cannon and Addison Hastings.

The youngest dancers took the stage next with their ballet piece “Poof”, followed by the intermediate and advanced dancers re­turning for their final two ballet pieces, “El Vito” and “Danza”.

Saturday evening con­cluded with the entire Sterling Dance fami­ly dancing the “Begin Again Grande Finale” which featured music from Rent and includ­ed songs by Point of Grace. To much ap­plause and cat-calls, two-by-two the Ster­ling Dance family came back on stage for bows.

For those attending both the Saturday and Sunday performances, attendees were treated to encores of many of the Saturday pieces, with additional pieces not performed the pre­vious evening.

Musical Interludes were scattered through­out the evening, giving dancers a few precious minutes to change and prepare for their next set. These interludes were presented by Wourms and Deaner (guitar), Gishia (bass), and Smotlz, Carpenter, and Norlander on Vo­cals.

Sunday evening be­gan with Sarah White Ritchie dancing to “No Day But Today”. This was followed by the group piece “Range of Emotions”, White Ritche’s “She Used to Be Mine”, and the group tap piece “I Feel Better When I’m Dancing”.

Brie Svendsen re­turned with her solo “At Last”, as did the advanced ballet danc­ers with the pointe piece “Little Bayade­res”. Beginner, inter­mediate, and advanced tap dancers picked up the pace as they danced to “One” from the musical A Cho­rus Line. Sarah White Ritchie caused us to pause and reflect with “Dying Swan”.

Intermediate and ad­vanced tap dancers stirred up the emotions and moves of attend­ees who were teens in the ‘80’s with their rendition of Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose”. Advanced tap dancers were then joined by the adult dance class for “All that Jazz”, with music taken from the Fosse and Swing soundtracks.

For those who missed the Saturday perfor­mance, “Hallelujah”, “In the Real World”, and “Fosse Forever” were back for another offering.

Ballet students of all levels finished the night with a medley of pieces entitled Danza, followed by the Ster­ling Dance signature finale “Seasons of Love” and bows.

Attendance was high each evening. Danc­ers and attendees alike enjoyed two beautiful evenings of music and dance to end a rainy month. The youngest dancers couldn’t re­sist stealing the show as they danced their hearts out during the finales, and each night they brought dum dum candies and little paper hearts to the audience.

A huge thank you to the Sterling teachers and dancers for their dedi­cation and hard work, the numerous behind the scenes people who make the show possi­ble, and Lovin’ Lake County for their gener­ous support toward the arts. Be sure to look for next year’s perfor­mance, scheduled for the last weekend in June 2025.

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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