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Taking flight: Catch the heights of local talent at Spring Showcase

Julie Hagn works toward perfecting a move in this photo taken before the 2008 Spring Showcase. This year’s event has been expanded into a two-day event,  featuring ballet, jazz, hip hop, tango, as well as performances by local musicians and Ballet Folklorico de Monarca. - Journal photo / James Krall 2008
Julie Hagn works toward perfecting a move in this photo taken before the 2008 Spring Showcase. This year’s event has been expanded into a two-day event, featuring ballet, jazz, hip hop, tango, as well as performances by local musicians and Ballet Folklorico de Monarca.
— image credit: Journal photo / James Krall 2008

Some of the island’s best talent, you’ve seen in action. In performances in the island’s music venues. On stage at the San Juan Community Theatre or with Island Stage Left.

But some of the island’s best talent, you probably haven’t seen. Toiling behind the scenes to perfect that stage production’s choreography. Working to perfect a dance routine for a competition or performance on the mainland.

Dance Workshop II is an incubator of talent, pulsing with creative energy every day of the week. “If you want to learn any style of dance, there’s someone there to teach you,” said Elizabeth Clark, a dance instructor.

On June 5-6, 7 p.m., you can get an introduction to this talent at the studio’s Spring Showcase. Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for ages 6-17, and free for 5 and younger. Tickets are available at the door, or call 378-0988.

Children ages 8-16 will perform ballet, jazz and hip hop. Other dancers will perform Argentine tango. Ballet Folklorico Monarca will add additional spice to the event.

Julie Hagn will perform a dance she will use in a competition. Tenor saxophonist David Messmer will perform. Other performers: Carl and Hunter Blake and an “unspecified saxophonist.”

The event will include a raffle and a silent auction.

“It’s an opportunity to get to know Dance Workshop II and the dancers,” said Melissa Mortensen, a dance instructor who with Clark organized the event. “We want to focus on what comes out of our studio and help islanders see the amount of connection between our dancers and most performances on the island. Many times, it’s our choreographers and dancers making it happen.”

Dance Workshop II has long been an educational center. Its director, Linda Downes, produces the Winter Song & Dance Festival at the San Juan Community Theatre and is the choreographer for “The Producers” with the Olympia Chamber Orchestra and Opera Pacifica at South Puget Sound Community College. Recent Dance Workshop alums include Downes’ son, Michael Blue, a professional dancer; and Michelle Mullin, who is studying dance at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.

This Spring Showcase is the second annual. The first showcase, in 2008, was the final event in the former Benefit Players Theater, which occupied the former Pig War Museum.

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