Positively Dance presents Spring Showcase

Published 9:22 am Tuesday, April 16, 2019

DOWAGIAC — Jumps, twirls and graceful contortions comprised the scene of the Positively Dance Spring Showcase on Sunday afternoon. Dancers from the ages of 8 to 18 took to the stage at the Dowagiac Performing Arts Center to show audiences solo acts, duos, trios and group dances from the last year’s performances and competitions.

Positively Dance is a performance and competition dance group that falls under the umbrella of MKSOD, a dance company with studios in Dowagiac, Decatur and Niles. For the annual Spring Showcase, the instructors and dancers bring the full array of work to share with the community in one place and time.

“The teachers have dances they’ve created with different age groups, then there is a performance team and a competition team,” said Booster president Jodi Bolyard. “[Spring Showcase] is one big production for a year.”

“It’s a nice opportunity for our dancers to show their hard work from throughout the year,” said Positively Dance co-director Mary Green. “They can showcase what they’re working toward. The dancers really enjoy showing the classmates and teachers what they’re doing with their free time. It’s important for us as instructors to share the art of dance to those who may not be exposed to it.”

Sunday’s event was split into two shows, the first for small ensembles and the second for large group performances. The whole showcase was four and a half hours long.

Although the Spring Showcase is long and encompasses a large body of work from a year’s time, it is an opportunity for the dancers to display their skills and talents, passion and focus and improvements and journey, Green said. One performance that stood out to Green as the epitome of the work Positively Dance was co-director Kathy Miller’s original choreography for “We All Bleed the Same.”

“[We All Bleed the Same] was a powerful piece and touched people in the audience, as well as dancers and families,” Green said. “Showcasing that, we wanted to teach the dancers that everyone is the same, and about respect and looking at everyone as equal individuals.”

For Boyard and Green, Positively Dance is not only for dance instruction, performance and expression, but it is an outlet for personal development and community.

“There’s a huge value starting them at a young age,” Bolyard said. “They learn character development and time management skills, it keeps them busy and continues to teach them all those same values as they get older.”

“Largely, I see Positively Dance as an outlet for them to express themselves and keep busy outside of school,” Green said. “I like to see them come in when they’re young and make lifelong friends and connections through the dance world and through that one group.”

To find more information about Positively Dance’s events and activities, or those of MKSOD, readers can visit the Positively Dance Facebook page or mksod.net.