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Quality over quantity

Autumn Phillips
° SSHS Dance Showcase ° 7 p.m. today and Saturday ° Steamboat Springs High School auditorium ° $8 for adults; $6 for students; and $5 for SSHS students; tickets are available at All That Jazz and at the door
° SSHS Dance Showcase ° 7 p.m. today and Saturday ° Steamboat Springs High School auditorium ° $8 for adults; $6 for students; and $5 for SSHS students; tickets are available at All That Jazz and at the door

After nine years of students taking the stage for the annual Steamboat Springs High School Dance Showcase, this year’s organizers are taking it up a notch.

Danielle Tredway, 18, and Brittany DeGroff, 17, have been watching the older girls run the Dance Showcase since they were freshmen. They saw the crowded stage, and they saw girls taking roles above their dancing ability in the name of being inclusive.

° SSHS Dance Showcase ° 7 p.m. today and Saturday ° Steamboat Springs High School auditorium ° $8 for adults; $6 for students; and $5 for SSHS students; tickets are available at All That Jazz and at the door

° SSHS Dance Showcase ° 7 p.m. today and Saturday ° Steamboat Springs High School auditorium ° $8 for adults; $6 for students; and $5 for SSHS students; tickets are available at All That Jazz and at the door

This year, they decided, things are going to be different.

They started meeting in August, before school started, to plan the Showcase.

“We want the perfect show,” DeGroff said.

“This year, we decided to go for quality instead of quantity,” Tredway said.

Last year, the Showcase featured 85 dancers. This year, there will be only 50.

“Everyone tried to make Showcase something everyone could do,” Tredway said, “but we are making it more like a sport where you have to be good enough in order to be showcased.”

In September, Tredway and DeGroff held tryouts for choreographers. They watched 21 dancers and chose 16 of them. Since then, they culled that number to 13.

They were going for diversity, Tredway said. This year’s dances include pointe, hip-hop, salsa, urban and African dances. And for the first time, a tap piece will be included.

Tredway and DeGroff have been dancing since they were 3 years old, starting with ballet classes and moving to other styles.

“To be a good dancer, you have to be outgoing, you have to be talented and you need rhythm,” Tredway said.

Tredway choreographed an African dance piece to the song “Move Your Body” by Nina Skye.

She has 22 people in her dance, which is the most of any on stage this year.

DeGroff is dancing in or choreographing four pieces for the Showcase.

Her favorite piece is set to “Dirty Dancing” from the “Dirty Dancing Havana Nights” soundtrack.

The SSHS Dance Showcase began almost a decade ago as one student’s senior project, and it has grown into a school tradition.

When Tredway and DeGroff announced that not everyone would be getting parts this year, they got a lot of angry phone calls.

“You can’t please anyone,” Tredway said. “Last year, they were complaining that there were too many people on stage.”

She wasn’t fazed by the negative reaction, she said. “It’s worth it to have a better show.”

As the lights go down on the last night of the Dance Showcase, the directors for that year choose junior girls to direct the Showcase for the next year. Tredway and DeGroff already know who they will choose, they said. But they won’t pass the torch until the show is over.


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