2021 was yet another terrific year for Mary Lorraine’s Dance Center. In the spring, our competition dancers were able to compete again. They received many awards and praise for their hard work. In May and June we were able to return to the stage for our 32nd dance concert! For many dancers it was their first time being on an actual stage, since we were unable to be in a theater in 2020. We have continued to have a fantastic year and welcomed new teachers who the kids simply adore!
Here our teachers share their favorite memories from this year!
Miss Mary Lorraine
I have two memories that I loved from this year. The first is Marc Hoyer doing his senior solo after having had him from a little boy to a grown man. He's such a respectful, hard working and all around great guy and to see him become that man has been delightful. I'm sure it was not always easy for him to be a male dancer - your somewhat isolated in the studio situation being the only male and I'm sure other at school ridiculed him, but he didn't let that stop him and now he's at Doane College on the dance team and studying music education so he can be a show choir director. It so wonderful to watch his passion as a dancer and performer carry on with him into this future plans!
The other one is the final dress rehearsal of our Production for this year. Maddy set the choreography back in June with no actual sets. Practice props were purchased over the summer. The sets were built in August and painted in October. The costumes and real props were put into place and the first time we ran it with the "real" everything it was spectacular and the kids felt it too! I’m so proud of Maddy's choreography, the kids for dancing it well and for the vision and being able to put all the puzzle pieces together to make it happen!
I think my favorite memory of 2021 was parent week. As a new teacher, it's been fun getting to know my students, but during Visitor's Week, all of the parents were so warm and welcoming! They chatted with me like we'd been friends forever and it was a very welcoming feeling. It's also great letting the students show off what we'd been working on for the semester!
My top memory of 2021 at MLDC was getting back in a theater and on a stage for recital. There is nothing like warm stage lights on a costume, a live audience and the life it brings to the dancers who take the stage.
My favorite memory was definitely the first competition this year! It was my first opportunity to choreography for a dance competition and it was so much fun watching the kids perform NASCAR onstage. For some of the kids, it was their first time competing hip hop, too. I could see how much fun they were having onstage, and they put so much life into the moves. Watching from the wings, I couldn’t stop smiling. It was such a proud dance teacher moment.
I enjoyed getting to have parents in the room for our Christmas performances this year. The kids got to perform in front of an audience and it was a great way to usher in the holiday season.
2021 was filled with so many good memories in the studio! Being back in person was definitely the highlight. I think the cherry on top of the year was seeing my Dolls dance competition piece win Regional Champions at their last competition. The award itself was awesome but seeing how proud the girls were of themselves was unparalleled. They worked so hard as a team and they were able to see that pay off. We had a celebration in class with decorations and cake and then went out for a nice team dinner. So many cherished memories with dancers so dear to my heart.
I was fortunate enough to spend half of 2021 in Omaha teaching at MLDC. Some of my favorite memories this spring were teaching the Company class (An audition-only class for high schoolers). Each week we would do something different. Some weeks I taught my original choreography, other weeks I taught famous Broadway repertoire. We did conditioning including running on the soccer fields across the street, boxing, and circuit training. I did an improvisation workshop and even a “dance for film” class! They totally embraced every style and challenge. This really showed their maturity, skill, and confidence, all of which are requisites for making it into the class.