It was another incredible season for our Performance Ensemble under the direction of Kristen Wheat-Paden. In 2015-16, our Ensemble dancers participated in several community outreach performances, including Port Orange Family Days, Volusia Dances, Athens Theatre for the DeLand Fall Festival of the Arts, Atlantic High School Dance Showcase and Dr Phillips High School Celebration of Dance in Orlando. Ensemble parents and dancers also participated in fundraisers for their Chicago trip, including the Sugar Plum Party: Parent's Night Out where the dancers had the opportunity to teach simple dance routines to younger attendees, and treated them to selected performances from The Nutcracker.
The highlight of our Ensemble season was our spring production of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The Anderson-Price Memorial Building in Ormond Beach was transformed as our dancers and parents hosted a whimsical Mad Hatter's Tea Party, complete with tea served in fine china cups and an assortment of delicious treats, and our dancers performed for delighted audiences at two sold out shows.
In June of 2016, several of our Senior and Apprentice Ensemble members traveled to Chicago for five days of intensive dance classes, educational tours of the city, and exposure to Chicago arts, food and culture. Trip highlights included master classes at Joffrey Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance, Gus Giordano Dance, and Chicago Ballet with Paige Sylvester, principal cast member of The Sound of Music. Our dancers attended the Broadway Chicago production of The Sound of Music, Hubbard Street Dance & Second City Comedy Troupe's collaborative show, The Art of Falling, and a dinner/jazz show at Andy's Jazz Club. Our team also visited the Chicago Musuem of Science and Industry, the Willis Tower, Navy Pier, Giordano's Pizza, and learned about several historic Chicago landmarks as well as contemporary architechtural features and a history of the city during a five mile walking tour. It was an amazing trip! We would like to thank the following sponsors for helping to make this trip a reality:
Chanfrau & Chanfrau, Attorneys at Law
Compass Financial Management Group
Midatlantic Marketing Solutions
Exit Beach Realty
Genovese's Italian Cafe
Kane and Associates, CPAs
Marchena & Graham PA
Mellow Mushroom of Port Orange
Paws & Play of Orlando
We had a wonderful group of dancers this year, and look forward to another busy season in 2016/17 with our returning and new Ensemble members. Plans are already in the works for additional community outreach projects, as well as productions of the Nutcracker Suite and Mary Poppins.