- photo by Matt Knowles, Aesthetic Design and Photography
- Sharon Harrison, Heather Morris, Kayla Thomas, Abbi Petersen, Abigail Titus, Allison Stanfield and Catherine Boers
If you've never been to the splendidly refurbished Winema Theater in Scotia, Saturday night is your chance. That's when the Ferndale Dance Academy presents its third annual Winter Concert, Second 2 None. Deep in the heart of the Eel River Valley, in a hamlet known for its staunch support of the gridiron, hoops and soccer, the Ferndale Dance Academy has been thriving against the odds with community support and a healthy enrollment under director Laura East. Her philosophy that "ballet technique is essential for the development of a strong dancer," reverberates throughout the school's disciplined approach to training young dancers in modern dance, jazz, tap, hip hop -- and ballet -- where any student who is serious about dance is encouraged to also enroll in ballet.
The keenest acolytes will appear at the Victorian-era Winema, with the studio's advanced and intermediate dancers featured in works choreographed by students and faculty. It's not all work and no play. FDA is known for its creative staging of dance pieces, for example last year's Wild Thang, a take-off on Maurice Sendak's paean to childhood imagination run feral, and Pure Imagination, a piece danced in front of large film projections. Most upper level dance students are members of the studio's performing troupe, Humboldt Dance Force, and attend regional dance competitions each year.
Working with a supportive instructor like East, who is very clear in what balletic elements she expects her students to master, dance students are able to develop their athleticism and technique along with individual expression.
Ferndale Dance Academy's Winter Concert, Second 2 None, takes place on Saturday, Jan. 21, starting at 7 p.m. at the Winema Theater on Main Street in Scotia. Admission is $10, and children 5 and under are free, so bring the whole family. Tickets may be purchased at the door beginning one hour prior to showtime. For more information go to ferndaledance.com or call 496-0805.