“Competition isn’t for everyone,” emphasize Amber Ryan and Meagen Walsh, who teach dance in Nosara.
But for those who do want to challenge themselves as dancers, in addition to the thrill of performing on stage, the two have decided to form a dance company that will compete against other dance companies in San Jose May 30 to June 1 during the JUMP international dance tour (www.jumptour.com).
Auditions for the company will be held on January 17 at Studio Guiones, next to Tica Massage in Guiones. Tryouts for ages 6 to 8 will be at 3:30 p.m. and for ages 9 and up at 4:30 p.m. Those who are accepted into the company must demonstrate technical ability, performance skills, determination and the ability to stay focused during two-hour rehearsal sessions.
For two years now, Ryan and Walsh have been teaching Kids in Motion dance classes and they are certain that several of the area youth have reached the skill level to be able to compete. “We have some kids here that if they wanted to put their heart and soul in it, could be professional dance teachers,” commented Ryan.
Ryan and Walsh both grew up competing with dance studios in the United States, where the concept that “winning is everything” is often promoted. However, they say that isn’t true and plan to cultivate a different spirit in the dance company here to offer a positive experience and for the students. They plan to emphasize each dancer’s strengths instead of focusing on what they do wrong. “Some are natural turners or natural leapers. We want a diverse group. We want to take what they have, make it better and capitalize on that as we choreograph the numbers,” said Walsh. “It’s all about growing.”
Through dance, the children can learn the skills they need to be successful adults, according to the two instructors. Dance provides a balance between creativity and discipline, fun and structure, as well as forming friendships and teaching teamwork since the dancers learn to move on the same count to create a presentation that flows together.
Participating in the company requires commitment, both from the children and their parents. The children will have to participate in two other weekly dance classes in addition to the company rehearsals. Class options include ballet, jazz, tap, acrobatics, hip hop and five rhythms fusion. The cost is $10 per class, but lower prices are available for Ticos and scholarships are also a possibility. “We’ve never turned a kid away for finances,” they assured.
For more information, contact [email protected] or call 8501-6265.