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Dance school goes back to ABCs for recital

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Super silhouette: Brianna Hayward Simas is ready for Vision School of Dance’s third dance recital (Photograph supplied)

Bermuda’s dance recital season kicks off next month with Vision School of Dance’s third annual production, Dancing from A to Z.

Founder and owner Angie Hayward was pleased to be one of the first dance schools to show their steps this year.

“Most other dance schools do not have their recital until the end of May,” she said.

That means potential ticket purchasers have not yet reached recital burn out – that point where they have seen so many dance shows they are bored with them. However, the early opening comes with its challenges.

“We began doing our choreography in January,” Ms Hayward said. “That is why it has been tough. Most schools take two terms to get their dancers ready, but ours have had a little less time.”

So far, things seem to be going well. Feedback from a dress rehearsal for parents held last week was positive.

“Our guests told us they had chills from beginning to end,” Ms Hayward said. “They said the costumes, music, dancing and lighting were fabulous.”

B-boy stance: Vision School of Dance’s boys hip-hop class (Photograph supplied)

It was a far cry from last year’s show, when there were glitches with the music and scheduling.

“We want to prove to the public that we really have a great production,” Ms Hayward said. “I can’t wait for everyone to see what we are bringing to the table.”

To make sure there are fewer hiccups in Dancing from A to Z, they have done more planning and practice.

“We are doing famous music celebrities alphabetically,” Ms Hayward said. “Aretha Franklin is A, for example. B is for Beyoncé. R is for Rihanna.”

Dancers ages two to adult, will demonstrate a variety of dance styles such as tap, jazz, modern, and afro.

“There is also a boy’s hip-hop group and a couple of combo classes,” Ms Hayward said.

In the end Vision actually had 30 dances, so had to expand into punctuation. “Our last dance is a period,” Ms Hayward laughed.

Dancer Amya Pierre, 16, is looking forward to taking part in the show.

“It will be better than last year, because we starting practising earlier,” she said.

She has been with the dance school since it opened in 2019.

“I love it here because our instructor Taye-Zino Trott really gives energy to the classes,” she said. “That is why I wanted to stay.”

She loves the way dancing makes her feel free.

“Hip-hop and afro are my favourite dance styles,” she said.

The Berkeley Institute student is in four classes at Vision, and also helps out with the younger students.

“They are under ten,” she said. “They have a lot of energy, certainly more energy than I have.”

One of the skills she is working on is doing her turns without getting dizzy. Her dream is to become an accountant.

“At Berkeley I have been doing accounting classes, and also more mathematics to get stronger in it,” she said.

Dancer Chloe Samuels, 16, has also been with Vision since it first opened its doors.

“It is a real community at Vision,” she said. “Everyone is very nice and kind. I love making so many friends. At other dance schools that I have been to, there was a lot of pressure and I did not enjoy coming to dance. Now, I like coming in.”

Her teachers at Vision have helped her grow as a dancer.

“My biggest challenge is probably dancing a bit above my skill level,” she said. “I like to be comfortable, but when my teachers push me hard enough, I am often surprised at what I can do. I have to get out of that mindset that I cannot do something.”

She is in six routines in Dancing from A to Z, and is also helping out with the younger dancers.

“My favourite piece in the programme is probably my modern dance,” she said. “I think that one is really emotional and very pretty. It is called I Care, and is choreographed by Mr Trott.”

Her favourite costume is for her Rihanna-inspired jazz dance.

“I like the vibe of it,” she said. “It feels very sassy and fierce. That dance is choreographed by Ms Hayward.”

Chloe loves dancing, but sees it as a fun hobby. Her ultimate goal is to become an actress. She would love to do film or television, but would also accept being on stage.

“Dancing has helped me a lot with musical theatre,” she said.

Knowing how to dance has helped her ace auditions.

“Some people do not know how to dance as well as act,” she said. “So I am really happy that I have that.”

She has been in several productions with the Bermuda Musical & Dramatic Society, the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Bermuda and at school.

“The last thing I was in was Oliver at Warwick Academy,” she said. “I played Nancy. It was a lot of fun.”

Chloe really looks up to Bermudian actor Rowan Vickers, who was touring North America with Tina: The Tina Turner Musical last year.

This year’s Vision recital has been a little challenging for Chloe.

“It is my IGCSE year at Warwick Academy,” she said. “I am so thankful that Ms Hayward does not make rehearsals too long. She understands that we have school and stuff like that.”

Chloe wanted the general public to know that this Dancing from A to Z will be an enjoyable show to watch. “I am excited for people to see it,” she said.

After teaching in other dance schools for several years, Ms Hayward opened Vision shortly before the pandemic began. Some of her earliest classes were held online during lockdown.

Things have been going well for her since Bermuda reopened.

“Our numbers have been building, particularly with the younger students,” she said.

Ms Hayward thanked her team of instructors for their help with the latest recital, including Caitlin Renaud, Janaya Caines, Monica Bruixola, Sophia Cannonier and Taye-Zino Trott.

“Caitlin also helps with our social media pages and administration,” she said.

Dancing from A to Z will be held in the Earl Cameron Theatre at City Hall, Hamilton, on May 2 and 3. Tickets are available on www.bdatix.bm at $40 for adults, $25 for children and $80 for patrons.

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Published April 24, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated April 25, 2024 at 8:11 am)

Dance school goes back to ABCs for recital

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