Dancers will put on some moves for Peace House
Dancers, like any artist or athlete, strive to push themselves, according to Nicole Campbell-Fielding, owner and director of Dance Tech Studios.
“We always focus on becoming stronger and trying to become the best we can be,” Campbell-Fielding said. “So it’s nice to have something that will give us a chance to look outside of ourselves to see how our art can help others.”
Campbell-Fielding is referring to the annual Dancers with a Purpose concerts that the studio has presented for the past six years.
The concert, which is set to take place this year at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15, at Ecker Hill Middle School, 2465 Kilby Road, raises money for local and international nonprofits. The 2018 beneficiary will be Peace House, a local nonprofit that is dedicated to wiping out domestic violence in Summit and Wasatch counties.
“This is special for us because we’ve come full circle,” Campbell-Fielding said. “Peace House was the first beneficiary from our first benefit concert we chose six years ago. And we have a soft spot in our heart for this one because we can help them again, but we also can see how much their programs and services have grown over the years.”
Peace House offers various services including counseling, outreach, prevention and awareness education and victim advocacy, Campbell-Fielding said. It is also in the process of building a new community campus on Round Valley Drive that will feature self-sufficient suites, gathering spaces, larger and more secure emergency housing and shelter units and secure parking.
Campbell-Fielding said the Dancers with a Purpose concert is the brainchild of her son Tyler, one of Dance Tech Studios’ hip-hop directors.
“He had to do an Eagle Scout project six years ago, and since he grew up competing and training in hip-hop, he decided to produce the first benefit concert for the project,” Campbell-Fielding said. “It was such a great experience and we got so much out of it, so we decided to do a yearly benefit show.”
Other beneficiaries throughout the years include the National Ability Center and some organizations in Haiti including the Jasper House, an international nonprofit that offers a transitional home, therapy and job training for young Haitian women who have left lives of prostitution, exploitation and abuse.
Admission to this year’s concert is $10 at the door, and additional donations will be accepted.
The production will feature 65 dancers performing all 17 of Dance Tech Studios’ Team competition pieces that were choreographed by the staff.
“We chose to do that because the choreographers have pulled in some pretty significant awards,” Campbell-Fielding said.
Those awards include honors at the Celebrity Dance Nationals at Sea in Long Beach, California, aboard the Carnival Inspiration Cruise; the Tremaine National Dance Competition in Las Vegas, as well as the Dance America “Spring Fling” Competition and the Relevé Dance Competition, both of which were both held in Utah.
In addition to the Dance Tech Studio Team dancers, Campbell-Fielding also invited some guest performers.
“Some of our Little Princess Tutu class members, between the ages of 2-and-a-half to 5, will be part of the show, and we are excited for them to come, inspire and remind us of how all of us older dancers started on our own journeys,” she said. “We are also excited for them to see and be a part of what dance can bring to their futures.”
This year marks the return of another past faculty member, Gev Manoukian, a finalist from season four “So You Think You Can Dance” in 2008.
Manoukian, who has performed in the film “High School Musical 2” and on MTV’s “American Mall,” choreographed a hip-hop piece for the benefit concert.
“We wanted to brought back our large hip-hop production numbers, which was something we did a couple of years ago,” Campbell-Fielding said. “So we had Gev come back last September to do another piece.”
The work features 45 kids and they were invited to perform at the Golden State Warriors/Utah Jazz game two weeks ago at the Vivint Smart Home Arena, Campbell-Fielding said.
“Gev is an amazingly talented and inspiring teacher, and we’re excited that we were able to bring him back this year to give the kids experience of working with him,” she said. “Of course the kids had to spend extra time to learn and rehearse the piece, but every parent and dancers have said it has paid off.”
Campbell-Fielding said the concerts are team efforts.
“The results and the quality of what we’re able to show on stage is a direct result of the phenomenal parents, dancers and passionate staff,” she said. “We wanted to give the kids, before competition season, a way to focus their talents and hard work for the direct benefit of people and organizations who need them.”
Dance Tech Studios’ Dancers with a Purpose will perform its annual benefit concert at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15, at Ecker Hill Middle School, 2465 Kilby Road. Admission is a minimum donation of $10. For information, visit http://www.dancetechworld.com.
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