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Dance Studios spring into recital season

Dancing Tree Studio Dancers give a performance. (PHOTO COURTESY OF DANCING TREE STUDIO)
Dancing Tree Studio Dancers give a performance. (PHOTO COURTESY OF DANCING TREE STUDIO)
Dancing Tree Studio Dancers perform jazz during an event. (PHOTO COURTESY OF DANCING TREE STUDIO)
Dancing Tree Studio Dancers perform jazz during an event. (PHOTO COURTESY OF DANCING TREE STUDIO)

Hawaii Island dance studios have plenty to celebrate as they begin their annual recital season. This weekend, the Kahilu Theatre in Waimea will host two community dance recitals, showcasing close to 200 local dancers. On Saturday, May 24, West Hawaii Dance Theatre presents “The Wizard of Oz Ballet,” and on Sunday, May 25, Dancing Tree Studio presents their annual showcase, “Just Dance.”

“We have our annual showcase every year,” said Seatree Osage, founder and director of Dancing Tree Studio. “It’s a chance for all of our students to perform what they’ve been practicing all year long. Confidence building is something I really love about dance. We have students who start out not being able to come out from behind their parent’s leg, and will get up and perform.”

Dancing Tree Studio will showcase more than 125 dancers of all ages who will perform in varies genres of dance. Spring recitals allow students the opportunity to perform dance routines they have practiced and perfected over the previous months.

“We have all styles of dance from ballet, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, tap, ballroom and tango,” said Osage. “Instead of doing a show that tells a story, it’s a chance for all of our students to shine and show what they’ve been learning. Dancing and movement are an essential part of being human. It is a way of self-expression, communication, and understanding, and connection with others.”

Dancing since the age of 4, Osage enjoys giving her students the opportunity to perform.

“We have our little 3 year olds who are so much fun to watch — not because of their dancing, but because you never know what’s going to happen with them on stage,” said Osage. “They’re always good for a giggle and sometimes it’s a whole-hearted laugh with tears. We also have really high quality, professional dancers in the show as well. It’s a well-rounded performance. Most people really like the variety. It’s students as well as our instructors who will be dancing.”

For those who would like to attend a story performance, West Hawaii Dance Theatre will showcase more than 60 dance students who have been practicing several months for their production of “The Wizard of Oz.”

“What’s really interesting about this year, is that we don’t have a male dancer, so our senior dancer, Joy Choe, requested to do this ballet,” said Virginia Holte of West Hawaii Dance Theatre. “Unlike most other ballets, it doesn’t need a prince. It’s also multi-dimensional because it’s not just ballet, there are also familiar songs that the kids get to sing. Our pianist, Megumi Kopp, has come up with arrangements for all of the songs, and Barbara Pritchard, who has created some amazing dialogue to go along with the production, will narrate the story. It’s really been a wonderful process and a great show to put together. It’s very family oriented and fun.”

There will also be a silent auction held in conjunction with “The Wizard of Oz” to benefit West Hawaii Dance Theatre. Auction items include tickets for Body Glove Cruises, Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, Fairwind Cruises and dozens of other items from local businesses.

“The Wizard of Oz” begins at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 24. Tickets are $20, $15, or $10 depending on seating preference. “Just Dance” begins at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 25. Tickets are $25, $20, $15, or $10, depending on seating preference. Tickets for both shows are available at www.kahilutheatre.org or by calling 885-6868.