Lily Haliburton, Juliana Sakmar , Paige Hughes and Nathan Williams rehearse for Shuswap Dance Center’s Christmas shows, Once Upon A December, on Dec. 13 and 14 at the Nexus. (Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer)

Shuswap Dance Center shows celebrate the season

Junior and senior dancers rehearsing for weekend of performances

Barb Brouwer

Contributor

Celebrate the magic of this festive month with with students of the Shuswap Dance Center.

Once upon a December is a musical treat that will be performed by junior members of the school on Friday, and senior students on Saturday.

“The opening number for both concerts is a musical theatre piece from the movie Anastasia,” says school owner and teacher Carolyn Wonacott, who notes both the vocals and choreography are very elaborate. “The rest of the shows are an eclectic mix of December events and the finale is a New Year’s celebration.”

As always, routines will include ballet, contemporary, hip hop, tap, musical theatre, acro (combination of dance and gymnastics) or jazz.

The junior show, with dancers eight years old and under, will feature elves, reindeer, snowflakes, candy canes, snow and snowball fights. Older students will perform in a few numbers as well.

Both shows will feature variations from The Nutcracker, and will include sugar plum fairies and Spanish and Chinese variations, says Wonacott.

Select numbers in the senior show include Count Down to New Years, a Home for Christmas hip hop piece and a White Christmas ballet number.

Read more: Shuswap Dance Center’s Winter Traditions concert delights audience

Read more: Young Shuswap dancers broaden education and horizons

“The advanced tap class is doing a tap number called Pump it Louder, and it’s a Christmas party,” Wonacott adds. “We have 165 students from the ages of three to 90-plus with Jackie Cannon, who is still dancing, and eight spectacular teachers.”

Last year several Shuswap Dance Center students trained at the Bird College Conservatoire for Dance and Musical Theatre in London for one week then spent another week at the famed Pineapple Dance Studio in city’s West End.

During that time, Wonacott and teacher Chelsey Klim attended the ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing) teachers course at the University of Chichester.

“This year we’re going to New York to dance at Broadway Dance Center.”

Once Upon a December takes place at the Nexus, with the junior show at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, and the senior show at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14.

Tickets at $10 are available at the Dance Center Studio, 590 Okanagan Ave. Monday through Wednesday from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. and Thursday and Friday from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call 250-832-5258.

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