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So You Think You Can Dance star comes to Blackbird Academy

Posted: June 13, 2014 - 1:23pm
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Blackbird Academy finishes its last day of summer Dance Intensive with a grand jete in their jazz class. (Photo by Staff Photography Eric White)
Blackbird Academy finishes its last day of summer Dance Intensive with a grand jete in their jazz class. (Photo by Staff Photography Eric White)

Carlos Garland of “So You Think You Can Dance” joins the ranks of Blackbird Academy to bring dance fundamentals to students.

Conway has many summertime features, intense sunshine, long days, and sometimes-unbearable heat. When this is the case, many parents look to new programs for their young ones to participate.

Blackbird Academy answered the call and in a spirit of cultivating the Arts, the school developed a one-week Summer Dance Intensive.

“Blackbird Academy of Arts implemented the Summer Dance Intensive 4 years ago to provide our intermediate and advanced dancers a week long comprehensive program,” said Carrie Miller, Director of Dance at Blackbird Academy.

The week is packed with dance activities that push students and bring technique to the young group. It is important dancers have a foundation to work from in order to continue their growth of skill and dance repertoire.

“Students take classes that strengthen their technique and understanding of various dance styles,” said Miller.

Ten instructors will be responsible for teaching “over fourteen different dance genres and topics including: Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Jazz, Tap, Broadway Variations, Injury Prevention, Tumbling for Dancers, Aerial Silk, Ballet Variations, Acting for Dancers, Improvisation, and Production Fundamentals,” explained Miller.

Acting for Dancers and Production Fundamentals, taught by local Trent Reese, focus on production and understanding the need nuances of dance past the movements.

“[These courses] are important because we are trying to have the dancers start to look at dance as a form of acting. Story telling. Actors and dancers use different tools to get to the same result,” said Trent Reese Theatre and Acting teacher at Blackbird Academy. “We also teach production fundamentals so the students get an idea of what is happening on the other side of motion.”

Blackbird Academy has brought together an all-star team of instructors to teach these dance principles to their students. Joining there team is celebrity dancer, Carlos Garland of So You Think You Can Dance, Steps on Broadway, and Broadway Dance Center in New York.

Alongside Garland are Rhythm McCarthy UALR Dance Faculty, Elizabeth Hartzell, Maegan Dyson of UCA, Carrie Miller Blackbird, Director of Dance, Hayley Turner Blackbird Faculty, Olivia McConkie Blackbird Faculty, Todd Richard Blackbird Faculty, Trent Reese Blackbird Faculty and Paige Ghent Blackbird Faculty.

Carrie Miller and Jennie Strange, the executive director at Blackbird, started the dance program in efforts to bring students advanced curriculum in dance.

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