Pint-sized reindeer and Tchaikovsky ballerinas will dance across the stage at Kenai Central High School on Friday and Saturday to usher in the Christmas season.
Soldotna-based dance studio Forever Dance Alaska is planning its second annual Christmas show at the Renee C. Henderson Auditorium at Kenai Central High School. Performers from 3 years old to 18 will show off a variety of dance styles they’ve been working on this year in a fully choreographed production, called Forever Christmas, said studio owner Darcy Swanson.
Rather than being a traditional recital, the teachers have choreographed the routines so there are no blackouts between acts and it’s a continual show, she said.
“It’s a full set of holiday Christmas explosion of trees, and lights and wreaths and so on — it’s pretty awesome,” she said. “… It’s a complete show from beginning to end.”
One of the routines included is a classic — the Waltz of the Snowflakes from Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker Ballet,” in which the ballerinas dance in full tutus and crowns with snow scattered on the stage. Others are less traditional — one of the younger hiphop dance classes will perform an act based on “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” Swanson said. They also chose to include one of the dances from “The Nutcracker” that includes more men to give more of the male dancers a chance to be in it, she said.
The smallest dancers, down to age 3, stole the show last year, she said.
“They’re reindeer this year,” she said. “Santa makes an appearance several times, and so does Frosty the Snowman. Last year was our first year, and we just got so much positive feedback from the community.”
The show is a little bit of a challenge because it includes every single child at the studio, of all ages and skill levels, Swanson said. Even the teachers participate. The teachers coordinate most of the acts, but some of the older students who have shown interest in teaching take up roles as assistant teachers and help teach some of the younger students too, she said.
The show is scheduled for 7 p.m. both Friday and Saturday nights. Tickets are going fast, Swanson said, but will be available at the door for $5.
“People who don’t even have kids who dance (come because) it’s still very entertaining,” Swanson said. “We try to make it more of a production. It’s just a really great way to ring in the holiday spirits and get people in the mood.”
Forever Dance Alaska is also planning a move in its near future. With limited space in its downtown Soldotna location on Shady Lane and increasing participation, the owners began looking at new property and are almost finished constructing a brand new studio on the Kenai Spur Highway just outside Soldotna city limits, Swanson said. The tentative plan is to move in just after the New Year, she said.
“It’s exciting,” she said. “We are definitely growing as a studio. The biggest way that we get kiddos in the doors is by showing the community … our teachers are really awesome, excellent teachers, really good at what we do. We definitely pride ourselves in having the most highly qualified teachers available for our community. We’re excited to be able to have a state of the art facility for our dancers now.”