Danza! Performing Arts Academy's two student dance companies recently made their 2011-12 performance debuts at a benefit for cancer research in Orchard Park. Dancers from 36 different studios from the Rochester and Buffalo area joined forces to raise money to benefit the Jacquie for A.L.L. foundation. To date, Dancers Give Back has raised more than $128,000. These funds provide support to cancer patients and their families as well as contributing to a special research project at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
The all-day event featured two different performance showcases. Members of the Danzaco dance company presented a contemporary jazz dance to "Poker Face." Performers include Olivia Barone, Miranda Harte, Sophie Stevens, Jillian Stonefoot and Sarah Zinni of Fredonia, Katelyn Karalus of Dunkirk and Abigail Noonan and Hannah Phillips of Forestville. Bella Danzaco dancers performing were Mia Barone, Macy Kawski, Kelly Lucas, Tabitha Shevlin, Kyra Taylor and Mckenna Taylor. Bella dancers performed character jazz dance to "Walk Like an Egyptian." The dance featured many acro tricks, leaps, jumps and flexibility steps. Dancers wore traditional Egyptian two-piece harem costumes and were the youngest participants selected for the showcase.
One of the highlights of the event was an onstage dance performance of "We Can Change the World" performed by all of the participants. All dancers from the various studios united onstage, dancing for a cure.
Row one: Kelly Lucas, Mckenna Taylor, Mia Barone, Macy Kawski and Kyra Taylor. Row two: Tabitha Shevlin.
Intermediate and advanced dancers also took part in two workshops by Ida Saki. Saki has created a name for herself within the dance world and continues to inspire audiences with every performance. Saki has graced the cover of the prestigious Dance Spirit Magazine and has appeared within the magazine numerous times. Most recently, Saki was selected along with 19 other artists to meet President Obama and be named Presidential Scholar in the Arts. Her other credits include NYCDA Senior Outstanding Dancer as well as "So You Think You Can Dance." One-hundred percent of the proceeds from the classes went to support Micaela's Fund, in honor of Saki's dear friend who recently lost her fight with leukemia.
In addition to performing in the showcase and the group dance presentation dancers from the Danzaco companies, their families and Danza! Performing Arts Academy made a contribution to the foundation.
Participating dancers are all members of the studio's student dance companies, Danzaco, the main focus of which is to provide additional training and performing opportunities for talented and motivated students. Dancers perform in a variety of community and charitable events throughout the year and also attend a variety or workshops, master classes and national dance competitions. Dancers are all enrolled in ballet, tap and jazz at the studio as well as pointe, modern, Afro-Caribbean, tumbling, hip hop, Irish and musical theatre. Both groups attend a weekly rehearsal period led by Artistic Director and Choreographer Krista Taylor.
Dancers are next gearing up for their annual holiday showcase held at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House on Dec. 1 and 2. "Winter Wonderland" will be performed at 7 p.m. on both evenings and tickets are available by calling the opera House at 679-1891, the box office is open Tuesday through Friday, 1 to 5 p.m., and on Saturday, 2 to 5 p.m. Tickets may also be purchased online.
For more information about the studio, call 672-5095.