Riverland show unites dance troupes

Published 1:57 pm Friday, March 4, 2011

It’s going to be OK if you just dance tonight.

Tonight’s performance of “If you want to dance … Dance!” marks the fifth year in a row Riverland Community College has showcased dancers from around the area. This year’s performance brings three alumni back to the college, along with five area dance studios for a dance extravaganza.

“It’s a sometimes very overlooked art form in the area,” said Jerry Girton, Riverland’s theater director. “The dancers don’t get a real chance to show off sometimes.”

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The annual dance showcase began when former Riverland student Bryan Gerber put together a 45-minute dance showcase as part of his senior thesis at Mankato State University. Girton wanted to give Gerber a chance to showcase the hard work he put into his thesis for his family and friends. The event has grown, adding local studios and has become an event dancers look forward to.

“I like the general idea of it,” said Bridget Halvorson, owner of Bridget’s Dance Conservatory. “It’s just kind of a nice performance opportunity for my dancers to share the joy of dance and get that out there to everyone.”

Dancers from Bridget’s will be joined by Jane Taylor’s Dance Academy and Acclaim Studio of Dance. Joyce Matthies Dance Center and Jill Hoggard Academy of Dance dancers, from Albert Lea and Owatonna, will be performing as well.

The night will feature Gerber as well as Leslie Weber and Stephanie Kasel, all former students.

The show takes place at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Frank W. Bridges Theatre. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for students and may be purchased at the Coffee House on Main and the Riverland Box Office.