SUNDRE — Bringing back a group of Sundre dancers to perform on stage for a recent year-end recital in Olds without any restrictions was more than a relief.
“It was a breath of fresh air to actually run an event as it would have run prior to COVID,” said Kirsti Bennett, Studio K Dance Gallery owner and instructor.
Two identical performances were held on the afternoon and evening of Saturday, April 30 at the Fine Arts and Multimedia Centre and featured a special blast from the past in recognition of the dance group reaching a major milestone, Bennett said.
“We had something special this year because it was our 10-year anniversary. We had 12 of our alumni dancers come back and perform a piece for the recital,” she said. “It was just really momentous in our 10 years that we were able to pull together an alumni dance and celebrate the love of dance with them once again.”
Getting prepared for the performance the group’s former dancers who committed to be a part of the recital was a roughly month-long effort that involved a combination of practising the choreography virtually as well as in a classroom setting, she said.
“Some Zoomed in from college, some were able to make in-person classes, and we put together a routine,” she said. “So, that was fun.”
The alumni dancers would all have originally been from the area, but have since moved on after graduation, she said.
But the distance did not dissuade them from enthusiastically getting involved.
“We had students from Lethbridge come, we had students from Red Deer, we had students from Edmonton,” she said, adding, “Dancers who have graduated and now have their own families came back to dance in this recital.”
Between both performances, more than 300 people attended, she said.
Studio K Dance Gallery’s members range in age from tykes as young as three to adolescents on the cusp of adulthood. But there was also a dance mom participating in the recital, she said.
“We had 32 routines that performed in each recital,” she said, adding that included a variety of styles such as tap and jazz.
The event was dubbed Let’s Go in the spirit of the steady return to a semblance of normalcy following two years of constant pandemic-induced uncertainty and anxiety, she said.
Studio K Dance Gallery had, in adherence to past public health protocols, previously put on a Christmas recital last December in Sundre and also participated in some other event before the year-end show in Olds, she said.
“We attended two dance festivals prior to our year-end recital, and we actually won some pretty incredible top awards and other awards at those,” she said. “It was nice to showcase all of the dancers’ fantastic talents.”
The year-end recital in Olds further offered an opportunity to feature to their family and friends the dancers’ skills and how much they’ve progressed, she said.
“It was a momentous year in the fact that Studio K was celebrating 10 years of offering dance within Sundre and that it was our first event that we were able to host without having any restrictions, and just celebrating the joy of getting back on stage doing what we love.”