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Hittin’ the floor

Dan BurkhartNUHS dance students Courtney Wadman (left), Angela Meilardt, Lindsey Ransom, Jessica Hall and Sydney North-Gerson pose with teacher Yelena Holt (right) at a dress rehearsal for "An Evening of Dance" at Don Baggett Theatre Saturday.
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You won’t see any sweat and tears during the 11th annual “An Evening of Dance” presented by the Nevada Union High School theatrical dance department.

The 190 beginner, intermediate and advanced dancers, many of whom perform in the show their whole four years at Nevada Union, realize hard work is what separates professionals from amateurs.

Lindsey Ransom and Courtney Wadman, two seniors who have taken advanced dance classes since ninth grade at NU, began rehearsing in late August for the “An Evening of Dance” during school hours. They also rehearse two days a week after school and occasionally on weekends.



The two are in 17 of the 27 dances. This year’s dance styles include storytelling, jazz, hip-hop, ballet, modern, tap and theatrical dance.

“We practice so long because of the amount of dances,” Ransom said. “We practice until the dances are perfect. It’s a long process to put a show on of this caliber.”




It’s all part of the process of being a dancer, asserts Ransom, who doesn’t mind the long hours.

“At the end, after each bow each year, you realize all your sweat and tears have gone into something the community enjoys and appreciates,” she said.

Not only that, but, Ransom says, it’s a good creative outlet.

Dancing since elementary school because her older sister did, Ransom became serious about the medium in seventh grade.

“I really wanted it to take me somewhere,” Ransom said.

It’s a good thing that Ransom accepts the hard work that goes hand-in-hand with performances; she was awarded an academic scholarship and a competitive dance scholarship to attend Mary Mount Manhattan in New York in September. After attending the university, she wants to dance in New York and then become a choreographer or teacher.

“My ideal job – I don’t want to be picky – is any job where I could dance as long as I wanted and make a living out of it,” Ransom said, laughing. “If it was Broadway, that would be even greater.”

Wadman also has her heart set on a dance career.

“I got a full ride to attend Chapman University, where I’ll major in dance and psychology. I think my ultimate goal is to become a dance therapist. It’s a good field, and dance has been so therapeutic in my life,” she said. She has danced since she was a toddler and currently teaches two jazz classes to children between the ages of 8 and 13 at Expressions School of Dance.

“I love teaching,” Wadman said, “and I like being in the show because it gives me a chance to share my love of dancing (onstage).”

Wadman has no problem with the constant rehearsals: “I’ve maintained high grades, hold two jobs and still dance. It’s worth it.

“Even though it takes a lot of time,” Wadman said, “every step of the process is enjoyable, and that’s why our show is such a quality performance – because of the amount of time we put into it.”

Yelena Holt, NU’s dance teacher and performing arts department head, acknowledges “An Evening of Dance” demands a lot of work from her students.

For advanced students such as Ransom and Wadman, who received scholarships to prestigious conservatories, it’s a preview of what’s in store for them in the near future.

“It’s good for kids to learn if you want to do something well, it takes a lot of effort,” Holt said. “All the students learn about teamwork, follow-through and commitment from the show.”

They also learn to take a well-deserved rest after May 11, this year’s last performance date.

“We chill, we cool,” Holt said. “We eat leftovers, watch the dance video for a couple of days.”

WHAT: 11th annual 3An Evening of Dance²

WHEN: Friday, Saturday, May 9, May 10 and May 11. All performances at 7:30 p.m. The box office opens at 6 p.m. before each performance. Performances usually sell out by show time.

WHERE: Don Baggett Theatre, 11761 Ridge Road, Grass Valley

ADMISSION: $10 for adults and $8 for students. All proceeds go to the theatrical dance program.

INFORMATION: 273-4431, ext. 278


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