When a performance showcases dancers ranging from eight years old to 80, you know there’s bound to be magic.
That’s just what the audience experienced Saturday during Innovative Spaces Dance – Community Collective’s inaugural show, “Flagstaff Stars: A Spring Dance Performance.”
The show featured the Flagstaff Dancin’ Grannies, Velocity Dance Company and included ballet, jazz, modern, lyrical and hip hop. The performance was held at Coconino High School’s mini auditorium in front of about 80 people.
“It was magical seeing the variety of ages,” said Theresa Biere, a new member of the Dancin’ Grannies and MC for the performance.
“Dancing and movement is so natural – why shouldn’t it be continued throughout life?” said Biere who was excited her group got to learn some hip hop moves with choreographer Daniel Cunningham. “Talk about magical connections,” she said.
Director Cori Wall was excited the dancers finally got to show off all their hard work in front of an audience.
According to their website, Innovative Spaces Dance believes in making the art of dance accessible to everyone, and we want to do so by providing a safe, welcoming environment for all. With our affordable classes, you have the freedom to enjoy our classes on your own schedule without a large financial commitment. Jump back into your favorite classes or try a new style – either way, we are all here because we love to dance.
“What makes me most proud of the dancers is the growth that they have achieved throughout the years,” said Wall. “Although this is our first performance with Innovative Spaces, a lot of our dancers have been dancing with us and together for many years. And with our graduating seniors this year especially, it’s been fun to watch them grow and see them come into their own as performers.
“I’ve seen them put in the hard work to become wonderful artists. They not only work on choreography that is given to them, but they also work on creating movement that you’ll get to see in this performance today,” Wall said. “The dancers with Innovative Spaces are creative young students. They put a lot of time and effort into their work, as well as creating choreography and learning choreography from their teachers and their directors,” Wall said.
Maureen Price, who has been dancing with the Dancin’ Grannies for about eight years, was sidelined with an injury but was there to cheer on her co-grannies.
“I’ve danced for as long as I can remember, from about age three,” said 81-year-old Price. “And then when I retired from teaching dance, I got fed up with sitting at home. So I saw this ad for Dancin’ Grannies and I just showed up. And I’ve been there ever since because I love to dance.”
Biere seconded Price’s love for the Dancin’ Grannies and had wanted to dance with the group since her mid-thirties.
“I saw these women in the parade downtown through Flagstaff, and I said, as soon as I’m old enough, I am joining that group because it looked like they were having so much fun. And it’s turned out to be exactly that,” said Biere, who joined as soon as she turned 50.
Biere said that she was joking with the young dancers that they only had 45 or 50 years before they’ll be eligible to join the Flagstaff Dancin’ Grannies.
“I hope they see that dancing can always be part of their life, not just when they are young,” Biere said, adding that they don’t ever have to slow down. “Dancing is good for our bodies. It’s good for our souls, our brains. All of it.”