Grier Gala 2019
The annual Grier Gala gives dance students the opportunity to participate in workshops and master classes, witness performances by visiting professionals, perform in a student showcase, and audition for college and summer programs and scholarships. This event is one of several opportunities throughout the school year for Grier dancers to work with nationally acclaimed companies.
The 2019 Gala took place at the Grier School from November 4th through November 10th. It included a Student Showcase the evening of Friday, November 8th with a fantastic opening jazz number “Magic to Do,” using choreography by Bob Fosse, and set by the legendary Lenora Nemetz. The showcase featured performances by Grier Dance along with other participating dancers and dance schools.
Gala participants also attended a two-day workshop where they worked with talented guest faculty instructors that included:
Andy Noble - Sam Houston State University
Dan Karasik - Point Park University
Elizabeth Ramsey - Dayton Contemporary Dance Company
Emily Pietruszka - Rennie Harris Rhaw
Heidi Rodeffer - American Dance Festival
Igal Perry - Peridance
Lindsay Viatori - Slippery Rock University
Maurice Frago - Shenandoah University
Melissa Rector - Koresh Dance
Michael Lomeka - Shenandoah University
Nile Alicia Ruff - Dayton Contemporary Dance Company
Phillip Cuttino Jr. - Rennie Harris Rhaw
Rob Priore - Priori Dance
Roni Koresh - Koresh Dance
Whitney Moncrief - Western Michigan University
Following the five-hour workshop on Saturday, Gala students enjoyed a Q&A session with the instructors. On Sunday, representatives from colleges including Point Park University, Shenandoah University, Slippery Rock University, Western Michigan University, Sam Houston State University, and the American Dance Festival held auditions. Gala students had the chance to receive scholarships such as a full scholarship ($3000) to the Grier Summer Intensive Dance Program, partial Grier Summer Intensive Dance scholarships, and scholarships from Point Park International Summer Intensive and the Koresh School Class Cards.
On Saturday, November 9th, Grier presented the Professional Showcase, featuring performances by:
Koresh Dance Company
Rennie Harris Rhaw
Dayton Contemporary Dance Company
Grier Dance instructor Emmalee Hallinan said the Gala was great. Student dancers had the opportunity to work with world-class dance instructors and been seen by representatives from college dance programs.
Along with organizing the Gala event, Director of Dance at Grier Mrs. Jocelyn Hrzic, affectionately called “Joci” by her students, arranges for professional dancers to provide week-long master classes to Grier’s pre-professional dancers. Guests this fall have included Lenora Nemetz, Susan Shields, Micah Geyer, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Melissa Rector. and Norbert de la Cruz.
Operating under the motto, “Dance is for everyone,” dance classes are open to all Grier students, no matter ability level or previous experience. The most elite dancers at Grier can participate in Grier’s Pre-Professional Program, which provides intensive classes and prepares these dancers for college and company auditions. Regardless of their level, dancers at Grier learn from talented faculty and guest artists in outstanding facilities. Students perform regularly and attend special events such as the annual Grier School Dance Gala, choreography showcases, and national dance conventions.