BYU’s Young DanceMakers take audience ‘Around the World and Back Again’

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BYU’s Young DanceMakers took audience members “Around the World and Back Again” on Saturday, May 10, in the de Jong Concert Hall.

During an “Evening of Dance,” the DanceMakers annual showcase event, dancers performed sixteen internationally themed numbers. Audience members were on the edge of their seats as the different troupes represented exotic destinations like Paris, England, Greece, Italy, Canada, Brazil and even outer space.

A young dancer can't help but smile while she performs "Love Makes the World Go Around", Sat., May 10 at the de Jong Concert Hall. (Photo by Maddi Dayton.)
A young dancer can’t help but smile while she performs “Love Makes the World Go Around,” Saturday, May 10, at the de Jong Concert Hall. (Photo by Maddi Dayton)

The near-capacity crowd cheered the loudest during “Italian Amore,” a number spotlighting Italy, when dancers rolled across the stage from wing to wing on skateboards and oars imitating the famous gondola rides found in Venice.

A part of BYU’s children and teens creative dance program, the Young DanceMakers group is made up of youthful performers who range from six to 18 years of age. The children had been preparing for Saturday night since last September, when their dance classes began. While the majority of the 160 dancers were female, there was an all-male dance troupe that performed immediately following the intermission. Dancers are trained in technique, composition, improvisation, choreography and performance.

Many audience members were very impressed with how well the young dancers did in front of such a large crowd.

“To perform in front of such a big audience, that’s such a big self-esteem builder,” said Meredith, resident of Salt Lake City.

While most of the dances were lighthearted and fun, a few had serious undertones. One of the evening’s more serious numbers featured Kurt Bestor’s “Prayer of the Children,” with a powerful, yet fitting quote from Mahatma Gandhi that read, “If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children” projected on the screen behind the dancers during the performance. Another serious number was dedicated to the early pioneers of the LDS Church who crossed the plains.

The crowed roared with applause all the way through the night, but nothing compared to the excitement on the faces of the young performers.

“I thought it was just fine, but I think the kids had a great time,” said Provo resident John Frank.

 

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