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Summer Show Round-Up!

Although the professional company's season ended in April, things are never quiet for very long at Ballet Theatre of Maryland! Over the last several weeks, the company has performed excerpts from Sleeping Beauty at events throughout the community as well as our favorite Motown dances right on West Street.

As we shared a few weeks ago, dancers from GiGi's Playhouse Annapolis have been working hard to perfect their own dance to perform with the company. To learn more about BTM's adaptive dance classes with GiGi's, check out our blog post. To find out how their big debut at Dinner Under the Stars went, keep reading!

Baltimore International Academy

An important part of BTM's mission is sharing our love for ballet with local students. Throughout our season, we often perform short lecture demonstrations during school assemblies. These instructive and educational performances feature excerpts from our repertory such as Swan Lake or Sleeping Beauty.

(Left to right) Lauren, Anna, Kyley, Eliza, Quincy, Ellie, and I (seated) getting ready before the show

On May 16th, our trainees performed dances from Sleeping Beauty alongside a few members of the professional company. Our audience members were students from Baltimore International Academy East's French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, and Chinese immersion programs, so this lecture demonstration was an exciting experience for all of us! After the show, teachers guided each group of students in turn to call out "Thank you!" and "Goodbye!" to us in their target language.

Performing in an outreach setting is a wonderful opportunity for the trainees to receive coaching on classical variations and dance in a more featured role than they get to in a company show. As with any skill, getting more practice performing leads to feeling more confident in the future. Our young audience was incredibly appreciative, and we loved performing for them!

Here, we pose with students from the Arabic immersion program. Right after this photo, they sang us an Arabic song!

Annapolis Arts Week and Kids 'n' Kaboodle

The first weekend in June, BTM performed even more excerpts from Sleeping Beauty at two events: Annapolis Arts Week at Arts Hub and Kids 'n' Kaboodle by Chesapeake Children's Museum.

Annapolis Arts Week is a yearly event organized by the Anne Arundel Arts Council, and it has been growing since 2017. Kids 'n' Kaboodle, held at the Bates Athletic Track, is a free kid's fair that boasts a more than 30-year history. This was our first year performing for them, and we enjoyed bringing some of our favorite parts of Sleeping Beauty out into the sunshine!

(Left to right, back line) Karen, Alex, Jenna, Ellie, Mimi, Rowan, (front line) Destiny, Karissa, and Brenna smile for the camera with one of our audience members

Some of the dances we performed that day include the Prologue fairies, Aurora's friends, Aurora's Act I variation, Princess Florine, Puss in Boots and the White Cat, and the Jewel fairies.

Destiny, Ellie, and Karen perform on a small section of our new touring floor. These dance flooring pieces from Harlequin connect together to provide a shock-absorbing surface on which to land jumps.

Dinner Under the Stars

For the dancers, Dinner Under the Stars is a community performance we look forward to every year. Restaurants shut down West Street on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the summer to bring live music and other performances to their patrons.

On BTM's performance day, we get to (literally) let our hair down and show a jazzier style of moving. Audience members who have attended in the past may have seen us dance to swing music or Motown hits such as "Heat Wave" and "Loco in Acapulco."

Five performers with Down syndrome pose outside in matching white-and-pink dresses. They take sassy poses while holdig fresh bouquets.
Amanda, Valerie, Hannah, Reagan, and Gennie show some sass after the show

This year, the stars of the show were undoubtedly our dancers from GiGi's Playhouse of Annapolis. For a few of these dancers, it was their dream to perform in front of an audience. This year, we were able to make that dream come true! Five of our GiGi's dancers joined the company in the finale of our show.

GiGi's Playhouse dancers and company members take a bow at the end of the show

As their costumes suggest, we all performed to "Dance the Night," a song from last summer's Barbie movie. The crowd was incredibly supportive of their performance, and we all had an amazing time!

As professionals, it's easy for us to take for granted that we have performance opportunities available to us during the season and on a volunteer basis in the summer. Being part of such a significant moment for our GiGi's dancers meant a lot to us all! We look forward to finding other performance opportunities for them in the future.

Members of the company in "Loco in Acapulco"

Although we've been busy with performances throughout the community, there are plenty more shows to come. To stay up to date on events this summer and beyond, please sign up for our e-newsletter!

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