Watts Dance Studio dancing to support Bonnie Kate

Published 5:29 pm Tuesday, June 26, 2018

With the 67th dance year around the bend for Watts Dance Studio, students and staff are looking to provide a helping hand to one local landmark.

The studio, located in Elizabethton, is currently wrapping up its musical theater intensive with the end result featuring a live performance for students at the Bonnie Kate Theater on Friday, June 29, at 7 p.m.

Chrisann Watts Tull told the Elizabethton Star the intensive allows young dancers to learn about how dance classes can lead to careers in the musical theater industry, including opportunities with Broadway and movie musicals.

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“The intensive covers a wide variety of shows from musical theatre cannon, and include information about theatre history, the specific shows and choreographers and stage/production skills, along with terminology,” Watts Tull said.

One key component of the class, she added, is that students will be able to take all the traits they’ve been able to learn and showcase them at the Bonnie Kate for a donation-based show.

“There will be no set admission,” she said. “All proceeds raised during the show will go to help the Bonnie Kate Theater for its restoration.”

Carolee Watts Hacker, an instructor for the intensive, added that it’s been a welcomed sight to see a focus be shifted once again to the arts with sites like the Bonnie Kate receiving positive feedback from the community.

“It’s nice to see so many different performing arts spaces opening up for our communities,” Watts Hacker said. “Arts has been unfunded a lot in the public school systems and other instances like that in the past, so it’s nice to see that growth coming back.”

Watts Tull and Watts Hacker are instructors for the course, along with Jamie Lipford. The guest artist for the intensive is Annalee Tull, an assistant professor for the Musical Theatre department at Emory and Henry College.

“Annalee is also among the all-adult teaching staff who provides regular instruction at Watts Dance Studio throughout the year,” Watts Tull said.

During Monday’s set of instruction, students went through routines that included music from “Footloose” and the classic “It’s a Hard Knock Life” song.

Watts Tull added the studio will start up its 67th dance year in August. The studio is the home of the “Showcase Dancers” — a well-renowned dance group that performs at various area events and have been featured at Walt Disney World and on multiple Carnival Cruise lines. Watts Tull added the studio has teaching styles including ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, contemporary and tumbling.

Registration and shoe fitting gets underway July 16 from 4 to 7 p.m. and July 31 from 5 to 6 p.m.

For more information, visit www.wattsdancestudio.com or call either (423) 895-2238 or (423) 543-3361.