The dance ensemble of the Saint John's School of the Arts, ranging in age from 3 years to adult, will present their "Annual Spring Performance" at 2 p.m. May 10 in the Williamsport Area High School auditorium.
The performance features 17 numbers involving 167 dancers, representing 11 different classes. The central theme for the performance is how dance can be an instrument to focus on God, praise Him and give Him the glory. Music will include Christian, classical and secular selections.
The pointe class will open the program with a fanfare of exultation: "Allegro Vivace from Gloria" by John Rutter.
Shown are the “recognition dance” graduating high school seniors from Saint John’s School of the Arts. From left are Lindsey Johnson, Sadie Krise, Mary Hess and Anastasia Georges. Missing from photo are Elissa Nolte and Miranda O’Dell.
Highlights of the performance include graduating high school seniors in "recognition dances," in which each senior is featured and shares in the creative process of selecting their music, dancers and choreography. Themes for these dances range from dedication to God, gratitude for family and friends and the life transitions facing graduating seniors.
Graduating seniors are Anastasia Georges, Williamsport; Mary Hess, homeshool; Lindsey Johnson, Williamsport; Sadie Krise, Montoursville; Elissa Nolte, Loyalsock; and Miranda O'Dell, Loyalsock. Many of these seniors have danced with the School of the Arts for more than a decade, and some have been loyal teaching assistants for the younger dance classes.
"Being able to dance at SOTA really means the absolute world to me. I have been extremely blessed to be a part of this company for the past 14 years," Hess said. "It is an experience I will never forget and that has impacted my life greatly. I love everything about dance. It involves heart, mind, spirit, and body. Both the atmosphere and the people are incredible at SOTA. And of course dance would be nothing without our amazing instructor, Theresa Kendall, who is an inspiration to so many. At SOTA we dance for a purpose greater than ourselves. We dance for our creator. That is why I love it so much."
Joining Hess on stage for her recognition dance will be her five siblings, all current or former SOTA dancers.
The Ballet III class will present "Trouble in the Fields/What a Wonderful World." The performance will close with the Modern III class performing "The Millennium." Dance instructor Theresa Kendall describes this final number as "a powerful depiction of the confusion, pain, and conflict felt when you believe you are in control of your life. But it resolves into the joy, freedom, and peace that result when grace steps in and you turn your life to God and make Him Lord of your life."
Students from the following classes also will perform: creative movement, pre-ballet, ballet I, ballet II, home-schooled ballet I, home-schooled ballet II, modern I and modern II.
This year's performance will include an assortment of props, banners, lighting and creative use of the stage and seating area for its presentation.
"This performance is one of the highlights of the year for the students, their families and persons who are well-acquainted with the School of the Arts dance program," said Anne Keely, SOTA director. "Even if you don't know anyone who's participating, you'll find this event to be positive, energizing, and family-friendly!" Keely also noted this annual performance typically draws an attendance of more than 1,000 people.
The public is invited and a reception will be held following the performance. There is a suggested donation per family, which may be payed at the door. For more information, call 570-327-5575.