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Dance Umbrella showcases new look during 17th Annual Spring Show

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
May 8th, 2014

Dance in Nelson recently entered a new phase as an onslaught of young lads are now enrolled in the local studio.

The guys have a chance to perform live when The Dance Umbrella unveils its 17th Annual Spring Showcase beginning Thursday at the Capitol Theatre.

“I’ve always wanted to try (dance) . . . it’s something I’ve watched on TV and it looked like something that would be fun to try,” said Dale Cushway on the eve of the Spring Fling.

Cushway is one of 18 male dancers registered in The Dance Umbrella program.

“I don’t care what other people think,” Cushway said when asked about joining a program that most think is reserved for females.

“I like what I’m doing and I’m having fun.”

More than 160 dancers in The Dance Umbrella take to the stage for the Spring Showcase beginning Thursday with the first of three evening shows — all beginning with a 7 p.m. curtain rise.

The lone matinee is Saturday at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $11.

The public can expect an exceptional show of hip-hop, ballet, point-work, a little modern jazz along, a little tango flare and a boy’s jazz routine.

“Dance Umbrella is incredibly proud of our unique success in encouraging boys to explore the joys and rewards of dance training in all genres including ballet,” said Siara Berkley of The Dance Umbrella.

“The number of boys dancing at Dance Umbrella is unique even for larger studios in big cities.”

Berkley said there is a special camaraderie amongst the dancers at Dance Umbrella.

No matter the age or gender, everyone is there to support the next person.

Veteran dancer Alexi St. Jean Duncan said being part of The Dance Umbrella has changed his life for the better.

Not only has the program helped him physically, but mentally also.

“Dance has helped me in all my other aspects of life,” said St. Jean Duncan, who owes a lot to his friend Connor Clover for encouragement to join the program.

“I climb, I play soccer, I snowboard . . . and dancing has improved all those (sports) tons.”

“It’s also helped me discover more of who I am and how I am as a person and my artistic side and creative side,” he added.  “It’s allowed me more freedom to do things I would never have done otherwise.”

Evan Forst concurred.

“You can take a lot from dance that can lead to other areas of your life.”

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