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 2018 Gala took place at the Grier School from November 5th through November 11th. It included a Student Showcase the evening of Friday, November 9th, with opening number “This Time” choreographed by Mike Esperanaza. The showcase featured nine 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:
Kijuanta “Kiki” Lucas
Following the five-hour workshop on Saturday, Gala students enjoyed a Q&A session with the instructors. On Sunday, representatives from colleges including James Madison, Point Park University, Slippery Rock University, The Hart School, University of Hartford, and Western Michigan University 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 Broadway Dance Center, DanceWorks Chicago, Point Park International Summer Intensive, and Perry Mansfield Performing Arts School Summer Intensive.
On Saturday, November 10th, Grier presented the Professional Showcase, featuring performances by:
BARE Dance Company
Antonio Brown Dance
Eleone Dance Theatre
One Grier pre-professional dancer spoke for everyone involved when she said the Gala weekend was a wonderful one and that is has been such a terrific learning opportunity to work with these professionals. She enjoyed the Gala Performance night of professional dance companies, noting that many of them were new to Grier’s Gala.
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 Kate Skarpetowska, Chris Huggins, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Jenni Berthelot, and Melissa Rector.
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.