Arts and Entertainment

Biennial dance festival on schedule for Friday, Saturday evenings

For most people, dance is something they can watch and appreciate.

"So, You Think You Can Dance" is a popular television series in many households.

For Kathleen H. Moore - director of the Performing Company of Pioneer Dance Arts - dance is so much more than an interest or hobby. Thump ... thump ... thump ... The rhythm of the music that fills the room pulsates through her body like blood running through veins and feeding the heart.

Moore is a dancer. It's not what she does - it's who she is. And it's that same passion she shares with students, an intensity that will fill the Performing Arts Center at Sequim High School during the biennial Festival of Dance 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, June 25-26.

"This is not merely a recital that we do every couple of years," Moore said, sitting at her kitchen table holding a Styrofoam cup filled with coffee in her hands, her long and lean dancer's legs crossed.

"These kids are polished and this is a quality performance."

The theme for the festival is "Gratitude." The 90-minute show presents two acts with multiple styles of dance and a variety of costumes. Songs include "Good Day Sunshine" by the Beatles; "Saturday in the Park" from the musical "Chicago;" "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" from "Oklahoma;" "One Tribe" by the Black-Eyed Peas; and "Dance Tonight" by Paul McCartney.

"It's all feel-good music with positive messages," Moore said, assuring parents that all of the lyrics are family appropriate.

The show will include guest artists Roz Schrodt, director of the Moment in Time Dance Company of Ashland, Ore., and Theresa DeGennaro, a graduate of the Tacoma School of the Arts and soloist with the Metro Arts Dance Company.

Sequim youths Trey Baldwin and Nicole Massangkay, who tied for second place in the 2010 Sequim High School talent show, will perform their winning lyrical and tap solos.

Due to the combination of an injury earlier in the year and the recent death of her mother, Moore only will perform once. She'll take the stage to "Thank You for Being My Friend," a tap number. Look for her in the blue costume.

Taking her place on stage the rest of the time will be friend and understudy Harmony Liebert, a wife, mother and an advertising representative with the Sequim Gazette.

"They are powerful pieces to get through that take a lot of power and strength and I'm just not feeling very strong," Moore said.

Since the loss of her mother, Moore has found peace and acceptance by throwing herself into work. She spends every free minute of the day working with students and planning the festival.

The students, she said, are a talented group with "good technique and nice personalities."

"They know their work," Moore said.

"Even the youngest students - who are 4 years old - are doing solos with confidence. They know their dances, attend weekly classes and follow a rehearsal schedule in addition to regular class time," she said.

"They are professionals and they've worked hard for the privilege to perform."

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