Vail Valley music and dance students close year with concert |

Vail Valley music and dance students close year with concert

Vail Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – A school year’s worth of work will be on display Tuesday, as nearly 120 Avon Elementary School students take the Vilar Performing Arts Center stage in Beaver Creek to showcase their skills in the Celebrate the Beat’s “End-Of-The-Year” performance.

Free of charge and slated for a 6 p.m. start, the “End-Of-The-Year” performance will feature students from grades three to five in a variety of musical and dance offerings.

“This is going to be a wonderful and uplifting evening,” says Vail Valley Foundation Director of Education Jean McSpadden. “I guarantee that these students are going to amaze the audience with their performance and all that they have learned.”

Introduced in 2007 by Vail International Dance Festival director Damian Woetzel as a free program for local children, Celebrate the Beat introduces the students to music, dance, art and self expression, using the 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 curriculum for third to fifth grade students at Avon Elementary School. The program also is offered in six other Vail Valley elementary schools.

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 program runs from September through April at Avon and Meadow Mountain elementary schools, with a goal of eventually expanding into all 10 elementary schools in Eagle County.

“Artistic Director Tracy Straus and her staff have done a masterful job of bringing dance and music to life throughout the Vail Valley for local children,” McSpadden says. “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.”

The 2010 Vail International Dance Festival includes the fourth year of the Celebrate The Beat summer program with a week-long workshop from July 26 to 30 that’s open to children ages 9 to 12. Half-day classes will take place Monday through Friday at Avon Elementary School, concluding with a public performance on Aug. 1 at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater.

Celebrate the Beat and the Vail International Dance Festival are projects of the Vail Valley Foundation. For more information on Celebrate the Beat, visit For more on the dance festival, check out To learn more about donating to the Vail Valley Foundation’s educational programs, contact Jean McSpadden at 970-949-1999 or

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