The School at Steps is a division of Steps on Broadway for children ages 18 months – 18 years. At the end of each academic year, the school presents a weekend showcase featuring its Pre-Professional dancers. This year’s shows were fantastic! Both the Ballet Showcase and Theater Showcase took place at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College on June 10th and 11th. Between these two evenings, the students demonstrated their technique and performed repertory work in ballet, jazz, theater dance, Horton, hip-hop, and tap.
The shows featured a little something for everyone. The audience was treated to a strong mix of styles; everything from the staging of Maruis Petipa’s “Don Quixote” to Bob Fosse’s “Sing Sing Sing,” as well as several original works. Kate Thomas, the Director of the School, set a beautiful contemporary ballet piece on the advanced students. The opportunity to explore classic works and new choreography is an invaluable experience for young dancers. I worked front of house and backstage during the shows, so I tried to watch the pieces as much as I could during the tech rehearsals. The pieces were all very entertaining and it was great to see the student’s transition so easily between styles. The students’ strong ballet technique was evident, but they showcased impressive versatility in their theater, jazz, and Horton pieces as well.
The dancers spent three days in tech rehearsals at the theater, perfecting each piece and making sure the show was ready to go! After all of that hard work and preparation, the students were excited to get out there and perform for their friends and family, while having a wonderful time dancing their hearts out. During the Ballet Showcase, I was in the green room where a live feed of the show was playing and where students had to pass through to get from the dressing rooms to the wings of the stage. Each time a group would line up, they would be watching their peers on the live feed, and I heard so many of the students saying good luck to each other right before they went onstage. I also heard many of the dancers congratulating those who had just performed on a job well done. It was so wonderful to see young dancers supporting and cheering each other on. They especially made sure to let the graduating seniors knew how much they admired them and their dancing; and when the seniors were given flowers onstage there was a roar of applause. After the Ballet Showcase on Saturday night, as some of the School at Steps’ staff were beginning to load out the ballet barres, a girl from Primary II passed by and began thanking everyone, exclaiming that “tonight had been the best night of her life!” What could be better than that?
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-Marketing Assistant for The School at Steps
Photos: Eduardo Patino. NYC