Elementary school students conjure up ‘Motown Magic’ | VailDaily.com

Elementary school students conjure up ‘Motown Magic’

Daily staff report
newsroom@vaildaily.com
AVON CO, Colorado

Special to the Daily

VAIL – The Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek will provide the stage and students from Avon, Meadow Mountain and Berry Creek Elementary Schools will supply the talent Thursday night as kids conjure up a little “Motown Magic” for a pair of end-of-the-semester Celebrate the Beat free performances.

The shows, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Vilar Center, are free and open to the public, as well as family and friends. Parking is also free in Beaver Creek.

The 16- piece program will include a full slate of choreography to some of the greatest Motown hits ever recorded, featuring both students and teachers. Memorable tunes will include the likes of “Dancing in the Street,” “Think,” “Respect,” “War,” “What’s Going On,” “Black or White” and “Man in the Mirror.”

“This is going to be a wonderfully enjoyable evening,” said Vail Valley Foundation Director of Education Jean McSpadden. “I guarantee that these students are not only going to amaze the audience with their performance and all that they have learned, but I’m also betting that you’ll walk out of the Vilar Center after the show with a little more spring in your step.”

First introduced to Vail in 2007 by Vail International Dance Festival director Damian Woetzel as a free Dance Festival educational offering for local children, Celebrate the Beat introduces students 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 conducted during the Dance Festival, Celebrate the Beat was incorporated into the annual curriculum for third to fifth grade students at Avon Elementary School in 2008, while also having a presence in six other valley-wide elementary schools.

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Beginning in 2009, a professionally trained teacher and musician relocated to Eagle County to run the “Celebrate the Beat” program in several county schools. The Lead Teaching Artist is Heather Kratz and the Musical Director is Tony Kieraldo. The program runs from September through April and is currently in Avon Elementary School, Berry Creek Middle School, Brush Creek Elementary School and Meadow Mountain Elementary School, with a goal of eventually expanding into all 10 elementary schools with the help of additional teaching and music professionals.

For more information on Celebrate the Beat, visit http://www.vvf.org.