JANESVILLE—There is little time off for competitive dancers—even the young ones.
Twenty kids ages 9 to 16 will perform 14 routines during the Local Dance Showcase at the Janesville Performing Arts Center later this month in preparation for their competitive dance season, said Life Dance Academy owner Tanya Adkins.
The showcase allows dancers an opportunity to perform in front of an audience on stage before the added pressure of competition, Adkins said.
It’s also an opportunity to bring dance to JPAC instead of the usual plays and concerts, said JPAC Executive Director Nate Burkhart.
JPAC has partnered with Life Dance Academy for three years for the showcase. Proceeds from the event go back to the performing arts center, Burkhart said.
The dancers start practicing in September for competition season, which lasts from February to May, Adkins said. Dancers often spend six or more hours a day at school and then take six hours of dance classes a week, she said.
“These families sacrifice a lot,” Adkins said.
The competition team performs a compilation of duets, trios and other group dances across a variety of genres, Adkins said. Each dance has its own theme or message.
Adkins has taught at Life Dance Academy for 29 years and is the competition team director, she said. A guest choreographer assists the team.
During the season, the team will compete at four regional and one national competitions, Adkins said.
There is not a lot of community support for dance programs, Adkins said. She hopes the showcase can show residents the importance of the art and teach the kids the importance of giving back to the community.
“(The showcase) gives us a chance to give one day of a year to highlight the great dancers in the community,” Burkhart said.
More than 400 people come out to watch the showcase each year, Burkhart said.
“These kids are super-talented,” Adkins said. “They have worked really hard.”