Taking a historical stage… Watts Dance students perform stage classics at Bonnie Kate

Published 11:14 pm Thursday, July 8, 2021

Over the years, Watts Dance Studio has educated girls and boys of all ages in the art of several types and styles of dance, and the latest production that Chrisann Watts Tull, Ann Haynes Watts, Carolle Watts Hacker, and Jaime Lipford put together was done so to challenge their students and to help raise funds for the historical Bonnie Kate Theater in downtown Elizabethton.

With students from the Watts Dance Studio Summer Theater Dance Camp, the dancers took the stage on July’s First Friday – Friday, July 2 before a great audience of family and friends to demonstrate what they had learned in the past week of instruction in a mini-performance.

According to Watts Tull, the Summer Theater Dance Intensive is designed to provide young dancers the opportunity to gain exposure to theater staging, choreography, and dancing for live theater.

Just before each dance, a student would come to the stage and share with the audience what production that the proceeding dance came from.

Throughout the show, the dancers performed numbers from such stage classics as Oklahoma, Newsies, Barnum, Anything Goes, Oliver, and Matilda.

“These kids were ready to go when we told them about doing the mini-show at the historic Bonnie Kate,” Watts Tull said. “They learned everything in one week and did an amazing job.

“They were particularly excited to be helping raise money to help the Bonnie Kate with their restoration project.”

Watts Tull said that the students learned about theater dance and worked during their dance session to get the choreography down and then went home and practiced even more.

The choreography/original choreography was adapted by Watts Tull, Annalee Tull, and Maggie Booher.

Students that participated in the weeklong Theater Dance Camp and put on the mini-show at the Bonnie Kate were:

Hayley Arnold, Addison Barnett, Natalee Barnett, Caroline Bentley, Camryn Britt, Natalie Campbell, Carly Collins, Hadley Georgio, Zoe Hale, Abigail Hallman, Lyleigh Harris, Josie Johnson, Mila Lipford, Eva Payne, Peyton Peppler, Reagan Price, Elizabeth Thomas, and Caiden Treadway.

Making the lineup even more impressive was that the students hailed from not only Elizabethton but Johnson City and Bristol as well.

All photos by Ivan Sanders.