The Rhythm in Motion Dance Company, Kutztown, performs“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in Ballet”Dec. 7 and Dec. 8.
“We asked the kids after we did Cinderella last year which one they wanted to do and they really wanted to do Snow White,” said Kelly Corman, studio owner. “We have a lot of accomplished gymnasts so you’ll see a lot of gymnastics; it’s really, really fun. It’s not a typical ballet.”
In a special interview with Megan Laudenslager, 17, Mertztown, aka Snow White, she talked about what it meant to be Snow White.
“I grew up watching the movie, Snow White, what little girl didn’t,” said Megan. “Being able to be like a Disney princess while dancing is pretty awesome because I’ve been dancing since I was three, I’ve been watching Snow White since I was three, so it’s just really cool to be Snow White as a senior now.”
The point work was the biggest challenge she faced even after four years of experience. Laudenslager has been performing in musicals since the seventh grade. She was the spring fairy in Cinderella and thought the pointe work then was difficult, but now feels that was nothing compared to now.
“It takes a lot of stamina and energy and strength to be able to get through. It’s only an hour long like which it’s really not a long time, but it feels like it’s a three-hour production and I’m on pointe the whole time,” said Laudenslager. “I have bruised toes, bruised toenails, blisters, you name it, it’s on my foot. That’s pretty much been the hardest part about it. Just being able to survive through it, but it’s fun; I’m so ready for it.”
After graduation, Laudenslager plans on majoring in musical theatre with a minor in communications. She hopes to attend DeSalles.
“Megan is a fantastic actress,” said Corman. “She knows how to portray a character very, very, very well and she’s always very happy so Snow White has to be very happy. We try to fit each one of the kids with their natural abilities and sometimes we went outside that a little bit and they had to stretch. For Haley, being a guy is something she’s never had to do.”
Haley Bailey, 17, Kutztown, plays several parts including Snow White’s Prince Charming.
“The biggest challenge is definitely understanding the male character and getting into that role as the prince,” said Bailey.
Bailey said she needed to look at other male characters and note their body language and gestures when working with a female role.
For MacKenzie Sheetz, 15, Kutztown, being a witch was a bit of fun.
“Being a witch, I really like it because I get to portray the bad side of the dance whereas Snow White is all happy and it’s exciting for me to be the evil part,” said Sheetz.
“I think the challenge is always getting them to understand the characterization of what you’re asking them to do. Teaching them the dance steps is one thing, but how you portray them in the character, that’s always the challenge,” said Corman.
For those who have multiple roles, Corman said they have to learn how to switch characters and stay in that character throughout that character’s performance.
Corman said they took the theme of Snow White and made it greater with forest creatures performing a very modern dance showing off the performers’ athletic gymnastic abilities. Most of the kids from this group are in the middle school. Trying not to give everything away, you’ll just have to attend to see the other outstanding acts Corman and her dance instructor, Katherine Gehringer, created.
“They are a wonderful group to work with. Their dedication to themselves and the show and whatever they are committing to has always been really, really strong,” said Corman.
This year the back of the program was made into an autograph book. One of the fun activities is a coloring station for the kids so they could color in the characters and then search for them to get their autograph.
The ballet was designed with the younger audience in mind to be an hour and 20 minutes long with an intermission after which the kids are free to roam the castle.
Held at the Kutztown Middle School, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in Ballet will be Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 8 at 2 p.m., doors open half hour before show time.
There will be a special tea party in a castle for young guests post performance with the cast along with other secret surprises. Parents will want to bring their cameras for special photo opportunities after the performance.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.rimdco.com/ or call Rhythm in Motion at 610-216-6252 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.