By Gary G. Gustavson
Despite a day’s postponement from the cold, wintery weather, the heat was on at SCCC Teen Arts Dance Recitals on March 20. Forty acts — from solo performers doing tap dance recitals, to large ensembles doing full-blown numbers from musicals — were on the docket.
After each act, acclaimed critics and former dancers Michael Gary and Lea Antolini Lid offered the performers praise for, and recommendations on, their performances.
The performers were all 7th through 12th graders, and the devotion to excelling in dance is a high priority to every one of them.
“I’ve been active in dance for 14 years and love it,” said Kittatiny High School dancer Gioia Grasso.
“I’ve been in it for 12 years, and it takes practice six days a week to maintain and advance physical condition,” said Shannon Scully of Sparta High School.
A late starter to dance performance, 16-year-old Dillon Vonder-Linden was in two of the performances. He opened with in a duo tap performance and ended the show as part of the Dance Expressions ensemble jazz rendition of “Chicago.”
“I’ve only been in dance for two and a half years; I was inspired by my older sister,” Dillon said. Dillon apparently felt right at home when he began dancing. He said he wants to go to college to pursue a degree in the performing arts, one day making it his profession.
The dance recitals at Sussex County Community College Teen Arts Festival were not a competitive event, yet all the participants received the reward of great satisfaction in doing what they love the most, dancing.