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Dance’s hot little secret

Cassie Pence
Bret Hartman/Vail Daily Dancers of the Dominic Walsh Dance Theater perform Katharsis during Act 1 of last years Different Dimensions at the Vail International Dance Festival. With dancers chiseled bodies and barely there costumes, a night at the ballet can be very stimulating.
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VAIL – For those men who have yet to experience the Vail International Dance Festival, here’s a little secret: Dance is sexy.Some men are afraid of dance. Just hearing the word “ballet” can trigger the most unusual behavior in said creatures. If it’s not an onset of flu-like symptoms, it’s the sudden urge for home improvement that takes over, as if the do-it-yourself god clocked them over the head with his calloused fist.Those males who have surrendered to a night of “Swan Lake” at the local theater try other tactics to escape the feared ballet. Taking up smoking with the pimply usher or ordering a complicated cocktail at intermission in hopes the bartender takes too long to make the drink, which then has to be sipped well into act 2, are two desperate attempts at avoidance.Of course these scenarios are catering to stereotype. There are plenty of men who have already figured out dance’s hot little secret, making the Vail International Dance Festival the most erotic event of the summer. It’s 10 nights of the perfect date. Think about it.Chiseled bods, tight costumes

Dancers are the original hard bodies. It takes every muscle in the body to perform sequential leaps, spins and jumps, to hold one’s leg high over head or gracefully arch the back to dramatically brush the tip of the head across the floor. Every ripple and bulge is tastefully accentuated in the tiny Lycra the dancers wear. The revealing costumes pronounce the artistic lines of the body and dance, but are sure to stir the libido, too.Beyond the beautiful performers, the stories the dancers interpret also heighten the audience’s emotions. You might witness the steamy rendez-vous of forbidden lovers in a pas de deux during the festival’s International Evenings of Dance Aug. 4-5, or find yourself rooting for one side of the chess board when Jeune Ballet Du Quebec brings the game to life during “Jeu D’Echecs” Aug. 2. It’s not unusual to feel the hairs on your arm stand to attention or your eyes fill with tears simply from the passion exuded on stage.Not your ordinary balletWhen Denver local Emily Eikelberner bought tickets to last year’s dance festival, her husband, Joe, wasn’t exactly thrilled. He said he was more excited about heading to the mountains than attending a ballet.”I wasn’t looking forward to it. It was more of favor to her,” Joe said. “But I really enjoyed it. The venue is amazing, and the way that the festival has diverse styles and shorter segments, it kept my interest. I was pleasantly surprised and definitely impressed.”

Joe had gone to ballets before with Emily, who studied dance seriously since she was a little girl. The Vail dance festival, Joe said, “wasn’t even in the same league.” Joe and Emily are returning this year for the International Evenings of Dance.Unlike a traditional ballet that can last for several hours and feature the same dancers and dance style, the Vail International Dance Festival is perfect for those with a shorter attention span, aka little boys trapped in grown bodies. The festival performances are broken up into smaller dance vignettes, showcasing several different dancers and troupes from around the world performing not only ballet, but ballroom, modern, jazz, salsa and even breakdancing, like during the Groovaloos performance happening Aug. 1.The festival’s “Different Dimensions” Aug. 8 is a favorite among festival goers because of its eclectic nature. Billed as “a festival within a festival,” the evening will feature Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, known for uniting different cultures through dance; ODC/Dance troupe of San Francisco, known for its athleticism, passion and intellectual depth; and the Nevada Ballet Theatre.”The festival gives people a good cross section of what dance is about,” Andreas Boesel of Vail said.Andreas joked that it’s all the beautiful women that attracts him to the festival each year, but quickly he admitted that it makes a nice evening for him and his wife, Shari.”Shari is really into dance and it’s nice to go with your wife,” he said. “It’s nice to have a few cultural aspects in your life, too.”

See, men, there’s no reason to fear dance. In fact, it can often work in your favor. You get to clap and cheer “bravo” at beautiful women contorting their bodies (you don’t even need dollar bills), all while earning brownie points from your date for appreciating the finer things in life. But the best part? Both of you will leave the festival aroused, and since the performances aren’t too long, there’s plenty of time to dance that very special kind of dance when you get home.Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 748-2938, or cpence@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado


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