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Annual Summer Dance Show Takes on Movie Theme

ARMONK, N.Y.- Armonk Center for Dance’s summer campers graced the stage at North Castle Library’s Whippoorwill Hall Friday afternoon with an “At the Movies” themed show for the Center’s end-of-camp send-off.

Heather Conway, 17-year owner and director of Armonk Center for Dance, was proud to see the improvement and confidence the girls, ages 6-10, gained in the four weeks since camp began July 5.

“I think it’s a little scary at first, especially if you don’t know anybody, but they get very comfortable with each other,” Conway said. “The big girls help the little girls and they get better and better as they go and they feel a little more confident each time.”

The show incorporated performing scenes from the movies "Shrek," "Ella Enchanted" and "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."

Certain scenes required the girls to wear tap shoes and Conway knows that is not an easy thing to do, especially when you’re not used to doing it.

“Some of these kids have never tapped before, so we had four weeks for them to do what they just did, it’s pretty amazing,” Conway said.

Along with helping to choose what types of shows will be performed, the youngsters also get the chance to help choreograph, make up skits and decide which songs are played.

Tenth-year director of summer camp Cynthia D’Angelo said the dance center’s numbers -- nine campers this year -- were  down dramatically from past summers, but she looked at that in a positive light.

“We used to have more kids but a lot of kids now go to sleep away camp so we had just nine but we were able to spend a lot more time with them,” D’Angelo said. “In four weeks we were really able to watch them get better individually and they really did.”

Preparing young children for an hour-long dance show in just four weeks does not come without hard work and patience though, according to camp teacher Ashley Albonetti.

“Costume change is the biggest challenge,” Albonetti said. “They have a lot of costumes and they have to change very fast. For a six-year-old to be throwing on and off costumes within 30-seconds, it’s tough, but they pulled it off, and we’re proud of them.”

Albonetti, who has been working with the dance center for two-years, knows hard work has paid off when the show ends and the crowd applauds.

“My favorite part is watching their faces when they hear the applause from the audience,” Albonetti said. “It’s just so precious. They get so excited and proud of themselves and that’s the key moment for me.”

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