Arts and Entertainment

Northwest Dance & Acro presents ‘Dreaming in Paradise’ at BPAC

ARLINGTON — Students at Northwest Dance and Acro are very excited.

They will present a public recital, “Dreaming in Paradise,” at 1 p.m., Saturday, June 27 at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center. But even better then that, they are going to Las Vegas July 14-16 for a national competition called Thunder Struck.

Twenty five of the dance school’s students will go to Vegas. One of them, who is just 7-years-old, is ecstatic. “It’s my life long dream to dance in Las Vegas,” Kennedy Elsner told her grandmother, Yolanda Larsen. “It’s my dream come true.”

A logical combination of acrobatics and dancing, Northwest Dance & Acro was founded by a gold medal gymnist from China, Augga Hawkins.

She combines her gymnastic skills with music, and adds some Chinese culture to create a new art form.

“The kids love her,” Larsen said. “Augga really knows how to inspire them.”

The school offers 13 different classes, from ballet and tap, jazz and hiphop to ballroom dancing and a production class that will dance “The Pirates” at Saturday’s recital as well as at the national competition.

At the dance studio at 5200 172nd St. in Arlington, Hawkins also offers acro/gymnastics, “Leaps & Turns,” and flexibility and strength classes. Her “Ribbons” class features Hawkins’ interpretation of a traditional Chinese dance featuring long silky colorful ribbons whipping through the air.

The teacher’s guiding theory is that dancing with your feet is one thing, but learning to dance with your heart is another. She also has high expectations.

“What the camera sees is what you get,” she said, adding she prepares her students for the photographer. “Do your best and remember to smile.”

The acro-dancers compete at five regional competitions through the year and have been ranked in the top five highest scoring winning dance schools in the state.

For information see the Web site at www.NWDanceandAcro.com. The $10 tickets are going fast. For information call 360-435-5300.

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