Audience members will be transported to their dreamscapes this weekend during Forever Dance Alaska’s upcoming company showcase.
Darcy Swanson, the owner of Forever Dance, said she’s excited to share the studio’s showcase, “Among Dreams,” which opens Friday at 7 p.m.
“I want to really have the audience surprised, and (feel) all the emotions,” she said.
The production explores different facets of the dream world — from the dreams found deep in the sleep cycle to different aspirations and goals. The competition-level dancers, ranging in age from elementary through high school, will perform 28 different dances in two acts.
Swanson said this production is different from the studio’s Christmas showcase, in that the performers have to audition and be selected to dance. This year, 54 dancers made the cut.
“These are the kids that dance is (their) passion,” she said.
Swanson said she and her staff wanted to create a themed production on a topic most people understand. She said some dance instructors shared they have lucid dreams, while others have literal dreams.
“We tried to cover the gamut of all of those dreams that you wake up from, like inspiring dreams or strange dreams or things that just everybody can relate to,” she said.
Recurring dreams, sleep paralysis and “living the dream” are all touched upon in the show.
Part of the production is also an ode to high school seniors graduating from the program, Swanson said.
“It was kind of a tribute as they move on to their next phase in life,” she said.
Isabella Valenzuela is one of four seniors in the program. She graduates from Soldotna High School this year and is preparing to audition for the dance team at University of South Florida next month.
She said she feels a number of emotions as she prepares to take the stage for the last time.
“It is my last company show, so it’s a little bit emotional for me, but it makes me happy to see these dancers that I’ve seen grow up,” Valenzuela said. “You can see how much they love it.”
The senior has been dancing with Forever Dance for at least seven years, she said. Her favorite part of the practice, she said, is finding room for improvement every day.
“I think the fact that you can never get perfect, that you always have to continue working to look better, dance better, be healthier with your dancing or technique, that’s what does it for me,” Valenzuela said.
The production ranges in styles — with ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, contemporary and acrobatic dancing all featured, Swanson said, and the overarching message is to encourage both performers and audience members to chase their dreams.
“Even as adults, sometimes we think ‘Oh man, I quit that dream,’ or ‘I wish I wouldn’t have put that dream on hold’,” Swanson said. “It’s never too late; that’s what we’re trying to say, is it’s never too late.”
Even kids from small-town Alaska, she said, can dream big.
“Dance is what we use to give them the tools to chase those dreams or to develop the tools like the work ethic and the dedication and the commitment and sacrifice, all those things that you need to make your life the best you can,” Swanson said.
“Among Dreams” headlines 7 p.m. Friday at the Renee C. Henderson Auditorium at Kenai Central High School. There will also be a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee, followed by a 7 p.m. Saturday evening show. Tickets are available at the Forever Dance Alaska website for $17.
Reach reporter Camille Botello at firstname.lastname@example.org.