This week, a Summer favorite returns to the Long Center. Rhythm on Stage kicks off tonight at 7:00pm. This year the Long Center partnered with Ballet Austin’s Butler Community School for an even bigger and better series of FREE Summer Dance events at the Long Center. We asked Vicki Parsons, Director of the Butler Community School about the new partnership.
Long Center: What can the Austin community look forward to this summer?
Vicki Parsons: A variety of dance styles that are both multicultural and fun; Brazilian, West African, Musical Theatre (A Chorus Line), Bollywood and Hip Hop.
LC: Is there a particular night y’all are most excited for?
VP: That’s a tough one. Due to the variety and the uniqueness of each night, there is something exciting and appealing about each Tuesday. The color and music of Brazil, the West Africa drummers, the chance to pretend to dance on a Broadway stage, the fun of Bollywood, and the cool factor of hip hop. Love them all!
LC: Why choose these particular genera’s of dance?
VP: They all have tons of RHYTHM…and that’s what it’s all about! But also, they are unique and give people a chance to try something they may not be as familiar with. Each one of these dance styles is very popular in our regular schedule of classes each week at Ballet Austin’s Butler Community School.
LC: In your opinion why is important to have dance accessible to the community?
VP: People have been dancing before there was even a word for it. Dance connects people. Dance feels good. Dance is movement. People dance for all kinds of reasons, but almost anyone can dance, regardless of age or ability. We believe that dance inspires confidence and encourages fun. It’s an art form that can be enjoyed as a participant and as an observer. We all know how popular shows such as So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars have been…the community loves to be involved in dance!
LC: What would you say to someone with no dance experience, on the fence about coming out to Rhythm on Stage?
VP: It’s for everyone! An hour of instruction in a friendly environment will put even the absolute beginner at ease. Just come try it! If you don’t feel comfortable at first, even watching everyone else, and the social aspects of the evening will make for a fun night.
LC: Brazilian night is up first what can participants expect for the kick off?
VP: Think Carnival! Think party atmosphere. Drums, Brazilian Samba, energy, and tons of fun!
Here’s a rundown of the entire Rhythm on Stage Summer series schedule:
- June 11: Brazilian Dance w/ Rebekah Fowler and Michael Crockett, host of Horizontes, KUTX-FM’s Friday afternoon Brazilian & Latin music program.
- June 18: West African Dance w/ Jean Claude Lessou
- July 9: Broadway Theatre Dance (“ONE” from Chorus Line) w/ Vincent Sandoval
- July 16: Bollywood Dance w/ Prakash Mohandas
- August 13: Hip-Hop Dance with Shepherd Allen
This fantastic night of dancing is free (donations encouraged) and open to the public.