06/20/12 Variety was the spice of everyone’s life Saturday night as the LifePlex Dance Academy presented its recital “Dancing through the Decades.”  Held in the Bowen auditorium at Bremen High School, the program involved child, youth, and adult dancers as well as professional dance teachers, highlighting the wide variety of dance instruction offered by the school.

   A division of Fitness Forum located in the LifePlex facility in Plymouth, LDA strives to meet the creative and performing needs of all ages.  True to this goal, the recital was not the usual “dance school” fare—acrobatics, ballet, and tap beginning with the youngest dancers and working up to the oldest.

  Instead, the opening piece, “Confession,” was a lyrical contemporary dance choreographed by ballet instructor Marcia Heintzberger and performed by her, Brittany Rose, Kristin Gergley, and LDA director Mewsette Cartwright.

   This was followed by “Good Golly Miss Molly,” a cute tap dance by five younger dancers.  The choreographer, Nikki Koontz—hip hop instructor, also created the next piece, a jazz/hip hop dance performed by Sadie Buchanan, Hope Koontz, Renne Mougin, and Tori Thompson.  Koontz, the granddaughter of Bremen dance legend D.J. Koontz, also choreographed six other dances in the 18-piece performing arts event.

   Two entirely unexpected dances entertained the audience.  The first, a belly dance (yes, belly dance!) was designed and presented by instructors Mewsette Cartwright and Rachel Harvey.  The second was a fitness dance by Cartwright and Sheryl Beckham performed in jungle cat costume by NPC fitness competitor Shelley Church.

Ending the first half of the show, the ballet “Flim Flam” was danced by 14 male and female students from young children to young adults.  The three variations (sections) created by choreographer Heintzberger offered variety and classical pointe and non-pointe repertoire.

   Ballroom dance was well represented as instructor Patrick Pendexter and Abby Binfet danced both a rhumba and an Argentine tango.  “La Copa de la Vida”, created by Koontz, was an acrodance (a form combining tumbling tricks and dance).

  16 junior ballroom dancers entertained the crowd with their number, “Friendships of Dance,” incorporating several different ballroom dances.  Rounding out the performance were three dances choreographed by Koontz:  a hip hop with five younger female and male dancers, and a jazz piece and a tap number rendered by older dancers.

  An audience favorite was the dance “Playground” by instructor Angela Blancovargas.  It was creatively designed to use four female dancers and a power point presentation on a large screen to artistically address the issue of bullying in schools.

By Ed Scherer-Berry