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Members of “Donna’s Diamonds”  perform  a sauté attitude jump during an exercise recently at Studio 48 on Coffeen Avenue.Members of “Donna’s Diamonds” perform a sauté attitude jump during an exercise recently at Studio 48 on Coffeen Avenue.

Dancing about expression, feelings, motion

SHERIDAN — In Sheridan’s studios, colors fly.

Pale, baby pinks whirl in airy loop de loops. Shiny black dots spatter here — there — bouncing like laughter. Curls of yellow, red and gray punctuate emotion.

Art happens with energy-driven creativity.

In these studios, however, the canvas is a wooden floor. The colors are pink tutus and black tap shoes. The brush strokes are pirouettes, riffles and hinges. And the artists are dancers.
“Art is about expression and showing your feelings, or what’s going on in your head, or sharing a part of you with people,” said Aunie Gable, owner of Fly Dance Artistry. “Art can be many forms. With dance, it just so happens to be your body. As a dancer, I express art through my body.”

Three dance studios in Sheridan provide space for this art form — for people to create as the dancer or appreciate as one might admire brush strokes on canvas in a gallery downtown.

Pieknik’s Dance Studio is owned by Christina Davey, who has danced all her life and all around the world. Held in the Shall We Dance Ballroom, Pieknik’s offers the elegant feel of a renaissance painting to its dancers young and old.

“The way you’re posing is like you’re posing for a painting,” Addy Hunter, 10, said at a recent Pieknik’s ballet class. “Dance looks like art because of the pointed toes and the way it flows.”
Across town, at Studio 48 on Werco Avenue, a group of high school dancers called “Donna’s Diamonds” made a different kind of art with their bodies. Combining jazz, hip-hop, ballet and a splash of gymnastics, they dashed across the stage, contorting to the music’s beat in a kaleidoscope of color. If it were a painting, it would be abstract.

“It’s an exploration of space and movement and your body and what shapes you can make with your body,” said Donna Grant, dance instructor and owner of Studio 48. “Exactness goes out the window and you can explore everything and every movement.”
Student Marisa Williams, a junior, added that dance, like art, is a way to express emotion.

“Whether you’re happy or sad, just whatever you’re feeling, you can express that through dance,” she said.
At Fly Dance Studio near the post office, the newest studio in town, Gable tries to foster a sense of worth and beauty in her students.

“I’m always keeping it positive. I want them to look in the mirror when they come to class and say, ‘I love myself, and I am beautiful, and I’m an amazing dancer.’ I want them to feel that way when they walk out the door,” Gable said.

In that sense, dancers are both art and artist, creating masterpieces with the beauty of their smile, their leaps, their flowing dresses, their curved arms and the tilt of their head.
“Dance is an art,” Davey said. “It’s something that comes from your soul. You have to love it to do it well and make it look beautiful.”

In Sheridan’s studios, colors fly.

And the dancers are artists.

About

Hannah Wiest is the government and outdoors reporter for The Sheridan Press. She has lived in Colorado and Montana but loves her sunny home state of Wyoming best. She joined The Press staff in February 2013.

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