Sunday, February 13, 2011

'Yes, We Can Dance!' an event to remember

It's been almost 24 hours since the close of the third annual "Yes, We Can Dance!" showcase, but I'm positive the 275 participants and directors, as well as the SRO audiences for Saturday's matinee and evening shows can still hear the joyous shrieks and shouts and sustained applause that rang out in the Neel Peforming Arts Center at the State College of Florida.

The brainchild of Helen Dolbec and Linda Boone, the doyennes of dance in Manatee County, was a blast.

Now retired, Dolbec was the longtime director for the Bayshore High Honeybears and Boone, her counterpart with the Manatee High Sugar 'Canes.

Yet through all those years, there was never an opportunity for all the county's dance programs to appear on the same stage.

That includes the Lakewood Ranch High Silver Stars and the programs at Braden River, Palmetto and Southeast as well as the up-and-coming middle school programs at Haile, Lee, Sugg and Braden River.

And we cannot overlook the Manatee School for the Arts, which brought not one or two, but three separate dance teams to the show and rocked the house.

With the cooperation of each team's dance director, Dolbec and Boone have established an event that really and truly has taken off.

It has become a showcase in every sense of the word, a stage for the varied and creative talents of our county's scholastic dance teams to share and show the public.

As emcee for each of the three showcases, I'm a witness to the energy and entertainment this event has generated in crowd-pleasing fashion.

Whether it was eye-catching pom routines by the Southeast Nolettes and Braden River Middle Panthers, a fun-filled swing number by the MSA's Gold Strikers, a sensitive Afro-modern style dance by Bayshore Honeybears, a rousing high kick routine by the Manatee Sugar 'Canes or roof-raising hip hop by the MSA Heat,  Saturday's was a twinbill to remember and cherish.

I'm looking forward to next year's show already.

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