Dance academy

Lakeside Dance Academy Spring Recital an absolute delight

The town of Rangeley was jam-packed last Friday night. Cars parked on both sides of Main Street, from ‘Sarges’ at the post office, and from Lake Street in the park. You would have thought it was some kind of holiday, a city-wide celebration – and it was, in a way. A celebration of hard work, dedication and the art of dance. It was the opening night of the Lakeside Dance Academy’s spring recital.

Sponsored by The Rangeley Friends of the Arts and hosted at the RFA Lakeside Theatre, the venue was even busier than the street outside. Fifteen minutes before the hour, people were turned away from the door and invited back for the following evening’s performance. The theater was full of proud parents, distracted siblings, excited art lovers and sometimes fussy babies. The crowd created an atmosphere only found in the best of live performance art and managed to turn the hype into a performance experience that could only be called a triumph of the Lakeside Dance Academy and the woman who runs it.

All students gather for warm-up stretches Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Pamela Ellis has been leading the Lakeside Dance Academy for 35 years, and each year the final recital only seems to get better. This year’s Spring Recital was created through the hard work of Lily Webacki, who teaches basic toddler movement, Justin Orazi, a wizard working stage lights, Valerie Zapolsky on sound, and others. media, a host of proud volunteers who take care of everything from the hair and costumes behind the scenes to the newsletters that are handed out at the door, and finally, Pamela Ellis who teaches dance year-round and who choreographed 90% of the spectacle. What a sight it was.

Tribute: Rhythm Nation Chair Dance by Janet Jackson, choreographed by Anthony Thomas, danced by Next Level Dancers: Averie Flewelling, Emmarae MacFawn, Stella MacFawn, Liz Robare, Ella Shaffer, Angelica Woodward Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Highlights included dancing with the new ‘dancing chairs’, purchased last year with a charitable donation from the George Ramlose Foundation, an Irish jig performed with tap shoes, a tap dance to ‘Walking in Memphis and a ballet performed by his older students. that took your breath away with “Across the Universe” by the Beatles. A hip-hop student lightened the mood with a fun piece to Weezer’s “Beverly Hills,” while younger dance students kept everyone smiling with moves on songs like “In My Life” from the Beatles, “Lights” from Journey and “Africa”. by Toto.

The Dancing Stag by Calan, danced by the Tap I class: Mia Bella Lynch Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Walking in Memphis by Marc Cohn, danced by the Tap II class: Emmarae MacFawn, Stella MacFawn Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

My Kind of Town by Frank Sinatra, danced by the Jazz I class: Mya Gellman, Mia Lynch (Michelle Cerminara- absent) Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Across the Universe by the Beatles, danced by Pointe Class: Averie Flewelling, Ella Shaffer, Angelica Woodward Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Vienna by Billy Joel, danced by Ballet III class: Averie Flewelling, Ella Shaffer, Angelica Woodward Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Beverly Hills by Weezer, danced by Class Jazz II: Liz Robare Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

In My Life by the Beatles, danced by the Creative Movement Class under the direction of Lily Webber: Leena Cowper, Claire Hayden, Clara Gurney, Emma Haley, Seamus Loud, Harley Mendonca, Lydia O’Neil, Ellie Phadungchai Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Lights by Journey, danced by Ballet I class: Penelope Farrar, Camille Harding, Brooke Huddleston, Abby Kay, Addyson Kennedy, Samantha Landry, Isabella Thomas, Skyler Thompson, Ruby Willauer, Charlotte Wright

Africa by Toto, danced by the Ballet II class: )Paisley Fredette, Mya Gellman, Joslyn Kennett, Addie Kneiser, Mia Lynch, Sarah Kate Murphy, Emma Pepin, Aliyah Reinholt, Lily Stevens, Morghan Webber, Harper Wright (Michelle Cerminara- absent ) Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

The crowning glory of the evening were the two senior solos, performed and choreographed by senior graduates Emmarae MacFawn and Ella Shaffer. Miss MacFawn performed an inspiring tap dance to Gabby Barrett’s ‘Footprints on the Moon’, which blended graceful elongated movements, thrilling fast-paced tap steps and inspiring lyrics in a performance that made you want to get up and cheer more as she finished. Miss Shaffer, on the other hand, choreographed an onstage story for “Raining in Baltimore” that had even the pickiest babies spellbound in silence, and adults reaching for tissues. Their performances will not be soon forgotten, a tribute both to the talent of these strong young women and to the power that art has in the lives of young people in this community.

Footprints on the Moon by Gabby Barrett choreographed and danced by Senior Emmarae MacFawn Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Raining in Baltimore by Counting Crows choreographed and danced by Senior Ella Shaffer Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

We can only hope that future live shows from the Rangeley Friends of the Arts Lakeside Theater will be as wonderfully entertaining and as well received. They have certainly started this 2022 season on a high note.