Competition dancers showcased 0
File photo Turning Pointe Dance Studio presents their annual Festival of Stars on April 21 featuring solos, duos and quartets among others. All proceeds from the show will go towards helping Shaylee Zeller, a senior dancer with the studio who has been diagnosed with a rare condition.
Long before the lights dim and nervous dancers take to the stage, Tara Groves, owner and instructor at Turning Pointe Dance studios, knows the most rewarding aspect of the dance studio is the unseen processes of choosing costumes, learning choreography and picking music.
With the Festival of the Stars inching closer-two shows held April 21 at the MDM complex in Bellevue-Groves said the show is important for the dancers and the community.
"The whole idea of it is that it gives the kids the opportunity to get a really good sense of performance before they go out to compete," she said. "If kids are going onto competition and they don't have that experience sometimes, their first time isn't their best."
Unlike the year end show, the upcoming April show will feature the students who perform solos and duos and quartets among others.
"We have all sorts of big group numbers that go to competition, but we do this separate little event so that they can have their opportunity to have their own show," she noted.
When it comes to the two Festival of the Stars shows, Groves said they are completely different-certain numbers and students perform in either shows-and that the performance order is listed on their website.
Not only does the festival offer the students a chance to get all their dance bugs out, but it also offers community members and parents an opportunity to see their children dance before competition starts.
"Everybody really likes the whole competition experience," Groves said. "It's that next level of being involved. It doesn't mean that the children are going to be dancers, but it's another level of working and giving yourself a goal."
Groves said the work never really stops and both students and instructors are always thinking about what comes next-which songs to choose, which numbers to perform among others.
"In my head, it's kind of like when you realize how much it takes to film one short segment of a movie," she said, referring to the time it takes to put on a dance routine.
This year's Festival of the Stars has extra importance for both dance students, families and instructors as all the proceeds will be going to help Turning Pointe dance student Shaylee Zeller. She has been in the Children's Hospital since September of 2011 after being diagnosed with a rare neuropathy condition which causes her to have intestinal failure.
"We wanted dance to be involved because it is a huge part of her life and it's a huge part of all of ours," she said. "We see the children grow up; the kids don't move away from us."
The Festival of the Stars takes place on Saturday, April 21 with two shows, one of which begins at 2 p.m. and the second at 6:30 p.m. at the Bellevue MDM complex.