Dance Beat: Dancing Classrooms, PBT, Freddie Franklin

Dancing Classrooms 8th Grade Champs: St. Benedict the Moor!

Dancing Classrooms 8th Grade Champs: St. Benedict the Moor!

COLORS OF THE RAINBOW. That’s what Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh calls its competition events. Well, it’s all over, but we’re still cheering for this year’s dancers, who looked better than ever and made the finals at Pittsburgh Allderdice extremely close. When the dust had settled, it was Lincoln K-5 who took the trophy. Others participating in this exciting final were Gold: Linden K-5; Silver: Miller K-5 and West Liberty K-5 and Bronze: Phillips K-5, Sunnyside and Sister Thea Bowman PreK-8 . And for the first time, DCP expanded to the 8th grade, where the routines and style were much more difficult. Congrats to the four schools who participate in the first year’s event: Winner: St. Benedict The Moor PreK-8; 1st Runner-up: Sister Thea Bowman PreK-8; 2nd Runner-up: Langley K-8 and 3rd Runner-up: Montessori PreK-8. Many of the students were veterans of the 5th grade competition. And while we’re at it, supporters can participate in Pittsburgh Mercy Health System’s online auction to benefit Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh, which will include tickets to the Pirates, a $100 Pampered Chef gift certificate, 18 holes at Glengarry Golf Links and much more. For more information, click on Dancing Classrooms. It begins June. 1.

Diana Yohe

Diana Yohe

NEWBIE. It looks like Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s 2013-14 company announcements might come in spurts. The first installment is a new apprentice for the upcoming season, Diana Yohe of Cleveland, Ohio. A member of PBT’s graduate program, she received training at Joffrey Ballet’sTrainee Program and Cleveland City Dance and attended summer intensives at San Francisco Ballet, Julliard and Cincinnati Ballet in addition to PBT School. She has already performed with the company in Cinderella, Moulin Rouge® — The Ballet, Giselle, The Nutcracker and George Balanchine’s Serenade, but recently she was featured in the PBT School annual recital as Odette in highlights from the second act of Swan Lake.

A BEAUTIFUL MEMORY. Ballet great Frederic Franklin recently passed away at the age of 98, which triggered a whole raft of memories, both in and out of Pittsburgh. I last saw him perform as the Tutor in American Ballet Theatre’s Swan Lake — age 95! While he traveled the globe during his career, he had strong ties to the early days of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, where he served as artistic director from 1974-76 and set both Giselle and La Sylphide. The company also performed his work, Tribute, several times, the last time celebrating his 50th anniversary in dance in 1982. How wonderful that he contributed to the ballet world for so many years afterward!

 

 

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