Positively Dance to hold Christmas recital Saturday

Published 6:48 pm Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The members of  Positively Dance troupe will welcome the holiday season in the best way they know how.

The group’s 27 members, along with 50 guest performers with Miss Kathy’s School of Dance, will be on stage during Positively Dance’s semi-annual Christmas recital this Saturday at the Dowagaic Middle School Performing Arts Center. There will be two shows, one at 1 p.m. and another at 6 p.m.

The name of this year’s show is “The Spirit of Christmas,” which will feature the story of wayward young girl who discovers the meaning of the holiday cheer through song and dance. The show will feature dance numbers set to traditional holiday favorites, like “Little Drummer Boy” and “Jingle Bells,” in addition to newer seasonal songs by Michael Bublé and Josh Groban.

“There’s going to be a little something for everyone,” said Jodi Rosenthal, one of the organizers for the recital. “The show will have routines featuring ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, acro. There will be a little bit of everything.”

The two-hour show will feature acts that will appeal to the entire audience, be they young or old, Rosenthal said.

“There will be things that kids will understand and appreciate, and there’s also song and dance that are more advanced for the adults to enjoy,” she said.

Positively Dance and the guest performers have been rehearsing for the show since the middle of October, Rosenthal said, meeting every Saturday for practice, which can run as long at eight hours.

“We’ve put a lot of hours into this,” Rosenthal said.

The group has performed around 10 holiday shows in years past. While the shows used to be held annually, the massive amount of work that goes into them has caused the dance school to scale back production of the show to every other December.

The Christmas recital far from the only show Positively Dance puts out every year. The troupe routinely performs at the city’s Memorial Day and Christmas Parades, and participates in shows and competition around the area.

The group was initially founded in 2001 by MKSOD, in order to provide an outlet for dance students who wished to perform in more shows besides the school’s single yearly recital. In addition to dancing, members of the group regularly participate in community projects.

Rosenthal, who is also a member of the dance school’s board, said she has three children in Positively Dance, daughters Brooklynn and Laurynn and son Jacob.

“They love being in the group,” Rosenthal said. “In joining, not only did they gain confidence by performing on regular basis, but they also gained an extended family, since the group is really close.”

In addition to Saturday’s show, the group will perform two free shows on Friday for Dowagiac Middle School students.

“It’s a way for us to give back,” Rosenthal said. “A lot of kids don’t have experience with a live show like this, and it exposes them to the arts.”

Tickets for Saturday’s show will cost $8 for adults and $5 for students. In addition to the show, there will be a bake sale and a silent auction that visitors can participate in.