Concordia Parish Dance Studio takes a classic and brings it to the stage

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 12, 2008

Ferriday — Dancers from Concordia Parish Dance Studio taking the stage tonight will be warmer than they were a few years ago.

The first time the dance school performed their Christmas recital, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” it was in the cold at the amphitheater on the Vidalia riverfront. This year it will be in the warmth of the Arcade Theater in Ferriday.

Dancer Alannah Kirby, 17, said she is grateful to be dancing inside this year.

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“We were freezing that year,” she said. “It was fun that year too, but this is a definite upgrade.”

The weather that year wasn’t the only less-thanideal condition dancers had to brave during the performance. The outdoor stage didn’t have dressing rooms for costume changes either.

“We had to change in this tent that was set up behind the stage,” said Kaylee Crain, 12.

“We were all huddled around heaters trying to stay warm before we went on stage,” said Mallory Lancaster, 12.

But this year, all the girls have to worry about is remembering the dances they have been working on since the summer. The hour-long show will feature jazz and ballet numbers performed by girls as young as 3.

The dances are choreographed to the music from the Christmas favorite, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” The songs of Linus, Lucy and the ice skaters come to life when girls dressed in winter sweaters, hats and scarves dance across the stage.

The most advanced dance group, many of whom have been dancing since they were 3, will perform three dances and will also dance in the introduction and the finalé.

The group has been working on the five distinctly different routines since the summer.

“You have Christmas songs in your head when it is hot outside,” said Sydney Guidroz. “Now, when they come on the radio, you turn them off.”

Leslie Keahey, the studio’s dance instructor and recital’s director, said finally seeing the show on stage is the payoff for the months of work.

“We’ve been in class since August and working on choreography since September,” she said. “It will all come together for the performance.”

Keahey said the age range of the cast, from 3 to 18, is a challenge.

“It’s hard to pull them all together,” she said. “But the little girls, they aren’t nervous at all, and the big girls will do great too.”

Shows will be at 7 tonight and Saturday.

Tickets are $5 each and are on sale at the door.