Weekend Wrap Up: 25th Dance Council Honors Celebration

Me at the start of the 25th Dance Council Honors Sept. 30, 2012 at the Dallas Black Dance Theatre in Dallas.

Wow! This weekend was full of Dance Council events, including Teresa Espinosa’s Hip Hop master classes at Power House of Dance in Dallas on Saturday and the 25th Dance Council Honors on Sunday.

Hit Them Beats. The rain didn’t stop eager dancers from showing up at Power House of Dance Saturday afternoon for Hip Hop choreographer Teresa Espinosa’s master classes. (FYI – this was my first visit to Power House and it blew my mind with its state-of-the-art lobby and eight studios.)

Teresa, a Dallas native, was on Season 3 of America’s Best Dance Crew with the Beat Freaks and has worked with some well-known artists, including Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepson. She is also this year’s recipient of the Natalie Skelton Award for Artistic Excellence, presented by the Dance Council of North Texas.

Teresa Espinosa teaching students how to walk to the beat during a master class at Power House of Dance in Dallas.

The students really took to her “commercial dance” style which involves a lot of accented walking, gestures and personality. She also likes to play around with level changes and speed. But what really stood out was her widespread knowledge and passion for her art form.

“Dance is about feeling; not thinking,” Teresa told the younger students when it came time to freestyle.

Shining Stars. Working in the arts community is truly a labor of love. So, when the community can come together and celebrate the accomplishments of certain outstanding individuals it’s truly a momentous occasion. And this year’s Dance Council Honors was the best yet!

Note: Mind you this was only my third year attending, but it was more organized and diverse in terms of the performance showcase than previous years.

The diverse showcase had a lot to do with the addition of a musical number by Guyer High School Theatre students at the beginning of the event. The group won Best Choreography at the 1st annual Dallas Summer Musicals High School Musical Theatre Awards, May 5, 2012, at the Music Hall at Fair Park.

Tracy Jordan (left) and friend tapping away at the 25th Dance Council Honors. Jordan is the 2012 recipient of the Mary Bywaters Award for Lifetime Contribution to Dance.

Other surprises included a short, smooth tap routine by Tracy Jordan after he accepted his award for lifetime contribution to dance. He then brought up the legendary Buster Cooper (to his surprise) to perform the Shim Sham. It was an emotional and exciting moment for all. I hope I am still dancing when I am his age.

We also saw some amazingly technical and conceptual solos from a few 2012 Dance Council scholarship recipients that completely blew my mind. Their knowledge and commitment to their art form was evident in their movement choices and performance quality.

Dallas Black Dance Theatre company members Amber J. Merrick and Richard A. Freeman, Jr. closed the show with an excerpt from Alvin Ailey’s Escapades. The bluesy music and loose movement are Ailey signatures and also a great way to end the event.

After the show my husband and I attended the reception where I ate at least a dozen of these little apple turnover bites. They were so good!

I also got to ask Honoree Teresa Espinosa where I could find good music for younger Hip Hop classes. Radio Disney it is!!!!

The 2012 Dance Council Honorees include:

Gladys Keeton – Larry White Dance Educator Award

Yvonne Lovell – Larry White Dance Educator Award

Teresa Espinosa – Natalie Skelton Award for Artistic Excellence

Kay Dalziel – Mary Warner Award for Service to Dance

Laura Price – Texas Tap Legend

Tracy Jordan – Mary Bywaters Award for Lifetime Contribution to Dance

Congrats to all you guys!!!!

 

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