Arts center director recalls her dancing days gone by |

Arts center director recalls her dancing days gone by

Art Sceneby Gayle Mortell

I started dancing when I was 6 years old at a small studio in Michigan. My twin brother and I were a tap team, although we also took ballet, jazz, modern, Hawaiian and even ballroom.Our teacher signed us up for performances all over the state, at every fair and church festival. We were pretty cute, and I still remember some of the routines. My love for dance has never diminished.My brother attributes his athletic abilities to the dance classes. He won a full basketball scholarship to Lewis & Clark College, and if you know me, being tall is not something that runs in the family. He developed perfect balance. I loved to watch him play.My parents were thrilled we liked to dance because it gave us something positive to do, especially in the summer. It got us away from the TV, and it got us moving. Dance is very athletic, yet it adds poise, grace and self-confidence to the equation. It also gives you happy feet.The Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts is offering some great dance classes this summer, such as Baby Boogie for mom and her 2-year-olds; Dance Dogs for 4- to 5-year-old athletes and warriors; and all levels of ballet, tap, jazz and modern. We offer Middle Eastern belly dancing with Heather Wallace and African dancing with Leeza Monge.This Saturday, its all about the rhythm at the Dance, Drum and Create workshop. Can you dance the way you paint? If you are a musician, what color is your melody? And if you drum, do you dance to the beat of a different painter? Those are the questions that Shari Gaynor, Katherine Woodyard and Toni Grenko will ask from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. Belly dance, play drums and paint or draw in a workshop that spans all art forms. Cost is $10 at the door.The Center for the Arts offers an African drum and dance workshop featuring Abdoulaye Camara, who is back on his summer tour of Colorado from creating an international dance camp in Sweden. All levels of dancers and drummers are welcome. Please bring your own drum and extras if youd like to share. Drumming will take place from 1-2:30 p.m. and dancing goes from 3-4:30 p.m. A potluck dinner and gathering may follow the workshop.Gayle Mortell is the director of the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts. Call the center at 945-2414 for applications, tickets or information.

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