Central High School senior keeps castmates moving with 'Guys and Dolls' dance moves

Thursday, March 25, 2010
Anna Bowles, left, and Matt Griffith perform during a dress rehearsal for Central High School's production of "Guys and Dolls." Bowles directed the choreography for the musical. (KRISTIN EBERTS)

Once Anna Bowles finished the season as choreography captain of the Cape Girardeau Central High School dance team, she moved on to her work with the spring musical, "Guys and Dolls."

"I was still in the mode for it," she said.

Bowles is the student choreographer in a production that involves student participation on many levels, including in set construction, acting and more than 20 orchestra members. The production opens at 7:30 p.m. today in the Central Junior High School auditorium and will continue Friday and Saturday.

A cast of 46 students tell the story of a gambler and his love interest in 1940s New York. Bowles said she watched the movie adaptation for inspiration and did background research.

"I kind of had to look up the time period," she said.

She choreographed and taught three dances, including an eight-minute couples routine, set in Havana, that features salsa dancing.

"The boys just don't know where to put their feet," she said.

Bowles, a senior, said she started dancing in second grade. She will attend the University of Missouri in Columbia next year and hopes to pursue dance but not major in it.

She dances in the production and is one of six couples in the routine. Her partner Matt Griffith said memorizing the moves is the most difficult part of the dance scenes. He said his only dancing experience was in the school's 2008 production of "Grease."

"I'll be on her level by the time it comes around," said Griffith, a junior.

Since the end of February, Bowles has worked with 23 students to teach the different dances.

Merritt Fluegge, a senior, said the couples routine came together in a couple of weeks.

"It's a lot better to learn from a peer because you can kind of connect," she said.

Tickets are $10 for students and $12 for adults. They can be purchased in advance by calling the high school office at 335-8228.

abusch@semissourian.com

388-3627

Pertinent address:

205 Caruthers St. Cape Girardeau, MO

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