Students at the in Glen Head have been given the prestigious honor of dancing in the English Arts Festival in London to perform for visitors to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, according to the studio.
Under the guidance of group director Kim Leary, 31 students between the ages of 8 and 15 will perform with over 1,200 other dancers from the U.S., Russia, India, Mexico and the United Kingdom in the event, organized by the American Alliance of Performing Arts Educators (AAPAE).
The Glen Head students are the only group out of 120 U.S. dance companies who will represent the tri-state area.
They will perform Aug. 11 in the historic Warwick Castle and Aug. 12 at Island Gardens in London, in the same area where the Olympic equestrian events are to take place. Their dance routines will include ballet, lyrical and jazz styles.
Perhaps their most anticipated performance will be their ballet to the song “Heaven” by Sammy and Yanou. The dance reflects the emotions experienced during and after the events of 9/11 through the visual of a little girl growing up.
Previous performances of this number have won them the “Stellar Award” and the “Ultimate Crowd Pleaser” award in their regional dance competition.
“The dance was created in honorable memory to give hope to the children of 9/11,” Leary said. “That their dads or moms who perished on that day may still be a part of their children’s lives, guarding over them from heaven.”
Choreographing the dance was emotionally difficult for everyone, Leary said. In order to learn to steps, dancers had to separate themselves from the lyrics and inject emotion after they had learned the moves.
The dancers and their families will tour London and its Olympic events for a week before their performances. They also benefit from the opportunity to learn about what’s going on in the dance world from fellow festival performers.
Though this will be their biggest venue yet, it won't be the first time members of Glen Dance Studio have performed for a big audience. The group has performed at Disney World, Madison Square Garden, the Statue of Liberty and Six Flags Great Adventure.