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Cooley Dance students to perform annual recital

They’ve come a long way

May 27, 2012
By JULIE REPPERT ( , Williamsport Sun-Gazette

The Cooley Dance Company will hold its fourth annual dance recital at 2 p.m. June 3 at the Williamsport Area High School.

One hundred and eighty nine dancers from the company, ranging in age from 2 years old to adults, will perform a variety of dance styles including tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, modern, hip-hop, acro, musical theater, stretch, turns and jumps.

This year's theme for the recital is "Get Your Groove On."

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The Cooley Dance Company will hold its fourth annual dance recital at 2 p.m. June 3 at the Williamsport Area High School. For more information about the Cooley Dance Company, call 567-7208 or email

Lauren Cooley, dance instructor, said the company likes to have one big performance at the beginning of June each year.

"A lot of time and thought goes into our show, so we like to put on one quality show," she said. "For the first half of our season, we like to focus strictly on technique ... We begin working on our recital dances shortly after Christmas."

Other preparations for the recital start much earlier, including choosing a theme, recital songs, costumes and lighting.

Cooley, also a photographer at Brodart as well as a graphic designer, designs the t-shirts and tickets for the recital.

The dance company has four dance instructors who specialize in various different types of dance instruction. Cooley, who began dancing when she was very young, started teaching tap while attending Lycoming College.

"Being a dance teacher wasn't something I had planned on being since I was little, but my interest in dance grew each year," Cooley said. "Once I realized how much joy teaching brought me, I began to think more seriously about it."

Cooley is in her fourth year of pursuing certification through Dance Masters of America, an international organization that certifies dance educators.

She said her major motivation as a dance instructor is watching her students' progress as they develop into stronger dancers.

"Sometimes we have these 'ah-ha' moments, where we think back to our first show and just realize how far some of our dancers have come," Cooley said.

"Whether it's watching them come into class for the first time without mom, or watching them master a more advanced combination, it's exciting to watch their love of dance develop."

Awards will be given at the recital to students who have had perfect attendance, as well as an award for Dancer of the Year. Dancer of the Year is awarded to a student who has gone above and beyond in their abilities to learn and to help others.

"It's a great award to help others strive to be the best they can be, whether in the studio, or just in life in general," Cooley said.

Cooley Dance Company will be holding summer dance classes at the studio, 10 E. Fourth St. Registration for summer classes are from 5 to 7:30 p.m. June 7 for a four-week dance session.

For more information, call 567-7208 or email



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