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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment January 16, 2019

12/18/2018 1:37:00 PM
Holiday dance recital a huge hit
By Jodi Schneider McNamee

Sisters Dance Academy's ninth annual holiday recital, "The Greatest Stories Ever Told," enchanted a packed house at the Sisters High School Auditorium on Saturday. Dancers aged 3 to 18 performed ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, Broadway and contemporary, wearing stunning costumes that represented classic holiday tales.

"This year's theme was inspired by wanting to do something very festive, a show that really makes you feel all those good holiday feelings - and what better way than through some of our most favorite and treasured holiday stories," said Lonnie Liddell, owner and dance instructor at Sisters Dance Academy. "The instructors and I spent many hours pondering over our favorite holiday stories and have collaborated in a way that hopefully brings a lot of joy and maybe a little walk down memory lane for all."

With nearly 200 students, the dance academy has grown tremendously in the last couple of years. All the instructors/choreographers have returned this year, with the addition of one new teacher - Makenna Liddell, Lonnie Liddell's daughter. Makenna took on two classes, one contemporary class and one hip hop class with ages 9-11 years old.

Makenna is an award-winning Sisters Dance Academy dancer, recognized at the 2018 Turn It Up dance competition as the highest scoring soloist. She has trained in ballet, pointe, contemporary & lyrical, hip hop, tap, jazz and Irish dance styles.

"With a focus on elegant, strong movement and beautifully articulated expression, Makenna is an incredible dancer, role model and teacher," Liddell said. "Through Makenna, students fully understand a love of dance and the drive to be one's best."

Sisters resident Sheila Jones hasn't missed a performance by her daughter Sienna, who has been with the Sisters Dance Academy since the first grade.

"I love watching all the little girls grow from little dancers to lovely young ladies," Jones said. "Sienna is now in the seventh grade and has been dancing since she was 3. Lonnie and the other instructors have done an amazing job teaching and it shows in the success of the dance academy."

The opening number from the Broadway musical production of "Elf," was performed by the advanced jazz dancers, choreographed by Kayla Williams and set the stage for the whole show.

In the number "Home Alone," choreographed by Lonnie Liddell, 10 dancers performing ballet depicted the popular movie "Home Alone" by rushing off to the airport, to realizing their trouble-making brother is home alone.

"The Christmas Orange," choreographed by Makenna Liddell, was performed in contemporary style by 10- to 11-year-old dancers. The number told the story of young orphans that share a slice of their only Christmas gift - one orange, which inspired the audience about friendship and love.

Everyone who enjoyed the entertaining holiday musical "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" appreciated the three numbers that blended together "Who Likes Christmas?" "You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch" and "Christmas, Why Can't I Find You?" The performance was reminiscent of a Broadway musical.

The number "Life to Remember," representing "It's a Wonderful Life," was performed in contemporary style.

The evening's Holiday Dance Recital concluded with the Jr. and Sr. Performance Ensemble presenting a modern-day adaptation of "A Christmas Carol" choreographed by Kayla Williams.

One hundred percent of proceeds from the intermission bake sale went to Sisters Cold Weather Shelter.

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