Art Center hosts first competitive dance showcase |

Art Center hosts first competitive dance showcase

Jessica Cabe
Bailey Marnum, Christina Brusig and Annaliese Kehoe show off their second place overall award at the 24 Seven Dance Convention.
Courtesy Photo |

If You Go...

Who: Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts competitive dance program

What: Competitive Dance Showcase

When: 6:30 p.m. on Friday

Where: Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts

How Much: $8

Since September, a group of 25 dancers ages 8-18 have been practicing tirelessly at the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts, and all of their hard work will culminate in July when they attend the National Dance Competition in Anaheim, California.

But before they take that huge stage and pit their talent against about 40 other teams, they will perform their 23 contemporary, lyrical, jazz and tap pieces for their community at the first ever Competitive Dance Showcase at the Center for the Arts.

“We’re having the showcase to show the community what they really do,” said Christina Brusig, executive director of the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts and founder of the competitive dance program. “This is our first year doing it, primarily just because of our success.”

That success has come in the form of multiple first place wins at five regional competitions throughout the year. The Glenwood team nearly swept the last regional competition they attended, putting them in a good spot going into nationals, in which they placed second overall last year.

While a few routines from the competitive dancers were performed at Dancers Dancing this year, the center’s annual dance event, Brusig said the Competitive Dance Showcase puts a spotlight on the center’s most talented, experienced students. This is the only local opportunity to see what they can do.

“The only other way they could have ever seen these dances is to attend a competition or watch a live feed, but there’s nothing like seeing these performances live,” she said.

In addition to sharing the routines with the community, the Competitive Dance Showcase is serving as a fundraiser to get the dancers to Anaheim for nationals. Brusig said she hopes the event will raise $5,000, which will go toward the cost of entering the competition and help families with travel expenses.

The center’s competitive dance program started three years ago when the talent and timing seemed right, Brusig said.

“It was started because of my love of dancing competitively and my dancers being ready to learn outside the studio,” she said.

Two of the youngest dancers in the program, 13-year-old Megan Quinn and 12-year-old Skylar McLaren, played a big role in getting the program off the ground.

“Christina came to Megan and I and asked us if we would think about joining and helping out with organizing it,” McLaren said. Her mother, Amy McLaren, helped enter competitions and organize logistics, and the girls have been placing in competitions from the beginning.

Quinn said dancing competitively offers learning opportunities that classes alone cannot.

“When you get to compete, you get to open your mind to different kinds of dance,” she said. “When we go to competitions, there’s usually a conference, so it’s a great experience to help you grow and learn new things.”

McLaren said she’s looking forward to competing at nationals again.

“It’s exciting because I know we’re going to do good,” she said. “We’ve been practicing a lot. And it opens up the world to us dancers. We get to see what some of the big dance studios do, and it’s just fun to see how well you do in different competitions.”

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