Spend a 'Night at the Movies' with Dance Extensions

Saturday, May 22, 2004

For its 13th annual dance recital, Dance Extensions is focusing on the movies for inspiration.

Dance Extensions is a Jackson-based dance studio that offers lessons in tap, ballet, jazz, hip hop and tumbling for people ages 3 and up, although the average age of a Dance Extensions student is 8 or 9 years.

"A Night at the Movies" will feature 184 dancers performing in 31 numbers on Sunday and 30 numbers on Monday.

The first Dance Extensions recital involved 60 dancers performing in 13 dance numbers.

"Each year it gets a little bit bigger," said Dance Extensions' owner Jackie Robertson. She said the annual recital is a good way to showcase the hard work her students have put into studying dance.

Dance Extensions' classes run from September until May in addition to an eight-week summer session that begins June 1.

In addition to the classes, Dance Extensions also has several dance companies composed of selected students that travel to dance competitions and performances.

However, all students, whether in a company or not, perform in the annual recital.

For this year's movie theme, performers will be dancing to music from movies such as "Chicago," "Honey" and "Bring it On." The younger children will perform to songs from Disney movies like "Aladdin" and "The Aristocats."

Robertson and fellow instructors Niki Laubach and Julie Mier start planning for the recital as early as September. Songs and costumes are picked out in November and December.

The students put in a lot of hours as well.

According to mother Tammy Petzoldt, 11-year-old Alicia Petzoldt has been hard at work preparing for the recital. This is the second year Alicia Petzoldt has been with Dance Extensions, and her mother said her daughter really looks forward to being in the recital because she loves to perform.

"All the time invested in it is definitely worth it," Tammy Petzoldt said.


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