Craig’s Just Dance shows full spectrum of emotions at spring recital
Whether expressing joy, sorrow or everything else in between, the 12th annual spring recital for Just Dance was full of emotion.
The Saturday evening show for the Craig dance program featured dancers ranging from preschool to teenagers showing off their lengthy preparation in the art form.
Though a fire alarm went off seconds before the show began in the Moffat County High School auditorium, the audience quickly settled back into their seats for the evening of dance routines put together by instructors Jeni Giedd, Jamie Ferree and Shaeli Hatten.
Besides the younger groups in Creative Movement — which performed to Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” and Michael Sambello’s “Maniac” — and kindergarten — ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” — older dancers put together their own solo sets.
As the senior member of the troupe, KennaLee Rowley received a special sendoff leading up to her piece, set to Ice Nine Kills’ “A Grave Mistake.”
Rowley said the music, her dark costume and mussed hair were all inspired by the film “The Crow.” Still, despite the heavy content that she drew from, her heart was light afterward.
“It’s so emotional,” she said. “All these little girls, I love them so much. Jeni makes us all feel like a family.”
After she graduates from MCHS in May, Rowley said she plans to continue dance at Colorado Mesa University, though likely after a semester of getting acclimated.
“I’ll probably be pretty busy with school at first,” she said.
Several sets were preceded by recorded introductions by the dancers, including Madison Atkin’s tribute to her mother as part of a set with the cancer-inspired Martina McBride tune “I’m Gonna Love You Through It.”
Atkin also joined Ferree and Jayden Mack for a trio act set to Calum Scott’s “You Are the Reason.” Mack dedicated the song to her friend Hunter Roberts, who perished in a car accident last summer.
“We were really close,” Mack said. “I think I messed up a little tonight, but it’s just about performing and showing this to everyone. It meant a lot to me.”
Several members showed off their skills that won them statewide recognition recently.
Bella Short, Ruby Short, and Kaelynn Geer performed in March in Denver as part of the program Showstopper, each of them qualifying for the national level as a result.
Bella Short’s tap routine, set to Quinn XCII’s “Straightjacket,” earned her first-place honors and was one of three solo acts she had in Saturday’s show, with her sister performing two single routines and the two also part of the larger company’s sets.
“It was really important to my family, and I just love them so much,” Bella said. “It was really fun to see all the other dancers tonight.”
The spring recital leads up to another Just Dance performance, with “Night at the Movies,” inspired by famous cinematic scenes, taking place May 10 and 11.
Both shows are the result of many hours of work for both teachers and students, Giedd said, adding spring is her favorite time as she sees the months of effort come to fruition.
“It’s been a memorable year, a lot of emotional pieces,” she said. “We laughed tonight, we cried tonight, but it was a good recital, one of my most memorable.”