Dancin’ for Disney
Rockland — Studio RED — the caps stand for Reaching youth through Education in Dance — has been packing its leotards in anticipation of changing location, but some of its dancers have a longer-distance trip planned.
On March 3, almost three dozen Studio RED dancers, age 7 to 17, will present a 25-minute performance on the Waterside amphitheater stage of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. The choreography is still being worked out but will include ballet, hip hop, acro, tap and jazz. In between now and then, the dance school led by Vanessa Knause has a lot of fundraising, rehearsing and competing to do — and moving, as well.
Studio RED has been located on the second floor of the downtown Odd Fellows building on School Street, which some may recall was the original studio of Swing & Sway Dancing. As of Nov. 1, Knause is taking over the former Department of Transportation building at 143 Rankin St., which was turned into a dance and fitness center by Korinn Scattoloni last year. Korinnsdance will become a sublessee for its Zumba and other classes. Current Studio RED sublessees Dancing 4 Fun, which meets Tuesdays from 7:30 to 9 p.m.; and Sunday Night Salsa, 7 to 8:30 p.m., are following the studio to 143 Rankin St., which is handicapped accessible.
“I’m very excited, we’ll have so much more space and the dance floor is wonderful,” said Knause, who instructs at Studio RED along with Gretchen Henderson and Katie Thompson.
The local studio began its Disney adventure with an audition video and written application to Disney Performing Arts OnStage, part of Disney Youth Programs.
“We heard back from the Disney talent staff agency that they would like to see more and then we got an invitation to perform,” said Knause.
Students must audition for the Studio RED competition team. Before they present their show at the high-profile venue, there will be a Boston try-out of sorts at a January competition. A month after the Disney trip, the team will be competing closer to home, in Southern Maine.
Every child must travel with a parent, and participating families must come up with their own travel expenses. The team has a goal of raising $15,000 to cover two nights at the resort, park tickets and bus transport in Florida.
“This will be the first time flying for a lot of students,” said Knause.
The fundraising table at the studio will be supplemented by a number of events in future months. First up is a vendor and craft fair Saturday, Nov. 9, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Salvation Army on Route 1. Admission at the door will be $3. Vendors will include dance-mom and professional photographer Amy Wilton, doing 15 photo sittings, as well as reps for Longaberger, Scentsy, The Pampered Chef, Mary Kay and Thirty-one bags. There will be jewelry, clay crafts, T-shirts, books and chocolate desserts. Some of the dancers will be selling baked goods and homemade items.
“Everyone’s getting involved. We have 8-year-olds making friendship bracelets,” said Knause.
A bigger event will serve as both fundraiser and celebration of the new space Friday, Dec. 6, starting at 6 p.m. at 143 Rankin St. The gala evening will include performances of works choreographed by students, refreshments and auction of a wide variety of donated items including art work from Ron Frontin and Roger Reuillard; rounds of golf from Spring Meadows; gift baskets; and gift certificates from local restaurants and businesses, including $100 of Studio RED lessons.
“And we’re hoping to have a fundraising contra dance in January,” said Knause.
All of the fundraising events and updates on the team trip to Disney World can be found on the just re-launched website, vkstudiored.com. Anyone who would like to donate auction items or assist the fundraising in any way is encouraged to contact Amy Judkins at email@example.com.
A&E editor for Courier Publications, LLC
(207) 594-4401/4407, ext. 115
Dagney has been providing Courier coverage of the local arts scene since 1985 and has helmed the multi-paper A&E section since it debuted in 2003. She has been a local performing artist, community and professional, for almost 30 years and spent a decade writing, producing and announcing on-air for several Midcoast radio stations. When not in the NewsNest, Dagney likes to be in motion.