Local Spotlight

Mar 20, 2014 3:10 PM by Dan Shadwell

CORE competency: local dance troupe performs this weekend at the PAC

The judges are giving a big thumbs-up to a local dance ensemble.
Just last month, "CORE" dancers received high honors at a competition in Irvine.
Last year, they were invited to showcase their skills for audiences in Austria and this weekend, the CORE Dance Company presents it's big annual show-- Rhythms 2014-- at the Spanos Theatre on the Cal Poly campus.
The show's director and producer, Leslie Baumberger says the performers, who range in age from seven to adult, have made a big commitment. "These dancers on average spend about six to eight hours a week in class, plus they have a four to six hour rehearsal schedule every week."
High school senior, Cheyenne McDonald has been dancing since age two, but says she still gets butterflies... at least briefly. "Before, I always get so nervous and then when you're out there, it just goes away and it's awesome."
Choreographer, Stacy Estrada, runs the girls through several dances at the company studio in San Luis Obispo. "When we get up on a stage, especially with this type of dance, it gets bigger and better," she explains, "... and the energy multiplies because they have more room to extend their arms and all their dance moves get bigger."
Rachel Warden, one of the seniors performing a solo dance in this weekend's performances, says dance is a release for her. "It's so athletic and like... emotional and artistic and it's just a wonderful thing."
The girls have a word for the quality they strive for,... "shine." McKenna Nelson explains the term..."Shine, you know... just to be a beaming light out there on stage and hopefully spread that joy with other people."
Baumberger says you'll see that shine on display this weekend in a variety of forms.
"We have comedy, we have jazz, we have contemporary, we have ballet, we have tap, we have almost any type of dance genre that you might want to look at and watch, we got it."
CORE Dance Company has just become a non-profit and proceeds from the shows tomorrow night and Saturday will support scholarships to further the training of company dancers, whether they continue their studies in San Luis Obispo, or move on to Los Angeles, New York, or even destinations overseas.
For tickets and more information, just type "links" into the search bar on the home page of ksby.com.

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