Dance students may steal Vail spotlight |

Dance students may steal Vail spotlight

Vail Daily staff report
Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyStudents laugh as artistic director Tracy Staus demonstrates the next step they will add to their dance routine Thursday during the Celebrate the Beat dance rehersal at Avon Elementary School in Avon. The program is part of the educational component of the annual Vail Dance Festival.

VAIL, Colorado – The kids have hit the big time in Vail, Colorad.

As some of today’s biggest names of dance wait patiently in the wings of Ford Amphitheater on Sunday evening, some of the smallest stars of tomorrow will take the stage as the 2009 summer class of Celebrate the Beat opens the Vail International Dance Festival’s “Festival Highlights Spectacular.”

Celebrate the Beat introduces the kids to music, dance, art and self expression, using the award-winning and inspirational National Dance Institute teaching techniques created by Jacques d’Amboise and his staff.

In addition to the one-week program during the dance festival, Celebrate the Beat has also been incorporated into the annual curriculum for third to sixth grade students at Avon Elementary School. Kids at other elementary schools also participate in Celebrate the Beat programs.

“You can see the self confidence and creativity of these students grow by leaps and bounds right in front of your eyes, and the assertion that the arts can help classroom education is being proven right here in Vail,” says Damian Woetzel, director of the dance festival.

On Sunday, the students will be joined on stage by Woetzel and special guest partner Argie Tang. It will be the first time Celebrate the Beat students will dance in one of the festival’s evening performances. Tang was the winning bidder on “Dancing with Damian” at the Black Diamond Ball benefit auction last fall.

“I guarantee that these students are going to amaze the audience with their performance,” Woetzel said. “Argie and I have been rehearsing with them and have watched them learn an entire dance in the last few days – but what they have really learned, is simply how to learn.”

Tickets for Festival Highlights Spectacular are at $17 for general admission lawn seating and $55 and $75 for reserved pavilion seating. Tickets for all performances of the 2009 Vail International Dance Festival are available online at or by phone at either 970-845-TIXS (8497) or 888-920-ARTS (2787).

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