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Twinkle Toes Dance Studio gears up for an event at Disney World | News, Sports, Jobs

TAMMY COAKLEY/FOR THE EXPRESS Twinkle Toes Dance Studio crew members pose for a photo. They are, in no particular order, Kendra Rossman, Sloane Coakley, Hadyn Bower, Lauryn Small, Addalynn Parker, Aurora Confer, Melanie Climent, Sophia Climent, Bridget McKean, Piper Coder, Layla Hayes, Liara Hayes, Rylee Heaton, Rorrie Olmstead, Cassidi Greendoner, Tatianna Gillott, Kyper Shadle, Megan Marino, Reese Warner, Bristol Warner, Sydney Walker, Paislee Sherman, Charlotte Fortescue, Cammy Hull, Lewsey Lehman, Madison Conklin, Julianna Beardslee, Paisleigh Beardslee, Nicole Phillips, Adalyn Lewis, Kaylyn Sanders, Abagail Lewis, Madelynne Quick, Brennah McKinney, Harper Kline, Ciara Askey, Kaylynn Spotts, Mialynn Killinger, Mattison Schlesinger, Paige Steinbacher, Abby Butler, Jaysa Stover, Mercedes Shultz, Mya Redmond, Rachael Hanley, Mary Gunsallus. The instructors are Angela Peters and Annette Wockenfuss.

BEECH CREEK – A few years ago, Angela Peters, owner and dance instructor of Twinkle Toes Dance Studio in Beech Creek, dreamed of dancing at Disney World in Florida. On October 13, that dream will come true as she takes 48 dancers to Disney World in Orlando to dance on the Disney Springs stage.

Peters has owned Twinkle Toes Dance Studio for 24 years and has been dancing for 42.

“The goal has been to give my dancers a great opportunity that they will remember for the rest of their lives,” Peters said.

Preparation began in April 2021 with a parent meeting and registration form to see how many would be interested in traveling to Disney and performing there.

“It’s a big commitment” Peters said of his dancers and their parents.

Everyone bought into the idea and fundraising activities started to help defray the costs. From car washes at Murray Motors to raffles at the Friendship Community Center in Beech Creek, to sandwich sales and bingo, the team is grateful for the support of local businesses and the community.

“It’s an expensive trip” Peters said. Costumes and shoes cost between $230 and $330 for each dancer. Hotel accommodations and tickets cost nearly $2,000 for each family, and they’ll need to hire a bus in Florida to transport them to the show venue, which costs $1,000.

Also in preparation, training started once a week last summer and continued through the fall and all winter. The dance team chose a “wicked theme” and chose six songs to represent them. The songs are “Impertinent,” “Cold-Hearted Serpent” “Nasty,” “Dangerous Woman” “I am a lady” and “Wrong.” Their dance genres will include jazz, tap, lyrics, and hip-hop.

The team had to submit a video of two dances with music and costumes to be approved by Disney.

“We couldn’t use Disney music or look like a Disney character, so we chose colors that will represent our villainous characters,” Peters said.

The royal blue represents the Evil Queen (of “White as snow”) and red is for Cruella de Vil (from “The 101 Dalmatians”). “At the Little Mermaid’s” Ursula has a lavender color and the dark purple represents Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty.” Each dancer was allowed to choose the color of their costume.

There are no boys on the dance team at this time, but they are invited and allowed to participate. Twinkle Toes Dance Studio has younger dancers (from age three) on their team, but they must be seven to meet Disney’s dance requirements.

Twinkle Toes was approved in January, then picked their date for the fall trip and performance. Some families travel to Florida by car while others opt to fly. They will spend several days enjoying the warm temperatures and amenities of the park and will take the stage on Thursday, October 13 at 2:15 p.m.

“Our performance can only last 24 minutes”, said Peters, so she and “Coach Annette” worked on refining their dance moves and transitioning from song to song, making sure to stay within that time frame for their stage performance time.

Annette Wockenfuss, assistant teacher and choreographer, has been dancing for over 45 years and once danced at Disney. She was a great asset to the team.

“It was a real labor of love and we can’t wait to see the finished product on stage. It will be an unforgettable Disney experience in more ways than one. Dancers will have the opportunity to perform and entire families will enjoy Florida vacations,” said Wockenfuss.

As the trip nears, the team has expanded training sessions to twice a week this summer and will continue to train once a week in September to fine-tune their performance.

“Everyone has worked hard and I am thrilled that Angela and each of these dancers have this experience,” said Wockenfuss.

“Without the support of local businesses and the community, this would still be a dream, but in October, this dream will come true. There are so many businesses that have donated to our fundraisers and we want to thank them all for their kindness and continued support,” Peters said.

Many dancers are extremely enthusiastic about participating in this event.

Seven-year-old Sydney Walker started taking dance lessons at Twinkle Toes when she was around three.

“I prefer ballet, tap and hip-hop” she says. She has never been to Disney and is very excited.

When asked which of the Disney characters she wanted to meet on her trip to Florida, her response was: “I want to see Elsa and Ariel.”

Sloane Coakley, 12, loves ballet and hip-hop the most. She has been taking dance lessons for about 10 years now.

“It’s fun to dance here, and some of my friends are also dancers, so that’s good. We do it together” she says.

His favorite part of fundraising was car washes.

“I was a human sponge by the time we finished”, she joked.

Jaysa Stover, 15, has been dancing with Twinkle Toes for about 10 years.

“Hip-hop and lyrical (a combination of ballet and jazz) are what I like the most. I want to take on challenges as a dancer and I like to learn new things,” she says.

The team plans to do one last raffle fundraiser on September 18 at their studio in the old Beech Creek Elementary School building.

One last rehearsal and “Overview” a performance for all to see the dance team’s efforts will take place at the Price Auditorium on the Lock Haven University campus on October 2.

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