- Paris Flash
- Real Estate
Head dance instructor of YWCA’s Dance Company, Danielle McKee, hands trophies to her twenty four dancers performing at the 2012 Summer Recital.
The YWCA Dance Company held its 2012 Summer Recital on Sunday, August 26 at the Chisum Middle School Auditorium. According to Danielle McKee, director and head instructor of the YWCA Dance Company, this is their ‘first true dance season’, but their will be many more to follow.
This is also the Company’s first recital, although the Competition Team has performed at various places such as, the Detroit Art Fair and the Paris Art Fair.
The dance event featured solo and group performances in different classes such as, Jazz and Pop, and performances by featured soloists, the 2012-2013 Competition Team, and the ‘Tiny Dancers’. Following the student’s performances, Mrs. McKee, showed her skills as a dancer and performed a blow-out routine, full of skilled twists and turns, as well as, emotion.
The YWCA 2012-2013 Competitive Team which is, team captain, Brook Tuck, Baylor Sessums, Trynity Chapman, Madison Clark and Hannah Chennault, have recently been invited to perform at the Six Flags Dance Fest on September 8th — an honor certainly, but especially for their first year of competitive dance.
As the instructor and director of the program, Danielle McKee, although young, has years of experience as a dancer, beginning during her early childhood.
“I started dancing when I was 3 and continued to through college,” she stated. ”In all I’ve studied dance for around 19 years.”
During her senior year of high school, McKee placed 3rd in state in Winter Guard, sending her on to college with a full dance scholarship in Color Guard. (Both, Winter Guard and Color Guard are forms of choreographed dance.)
After college she spent a little time away from dance, although soon to return to it, but this time, to teach also.
“I returned to my roots by pursuing a career teaching dance,” stated Mckee. ”That’s where my heart is.”
She first began work as an instructor at Prairiland ISD , and started the first ever Winter Guard for the district. She went on to take them to place 10th in state in March of 2012.
Because of some amazing support from the YWCA in her endeavors, she has now secured a studio for her dance company and a place to teach the craft to her smily students. What started small, has now become a full Dance Company, with some rather talented dancers.
There is a Jazz Class, which features dancers, Olivia Hostetler, Madison Clark, Brook Tuck, Bailey Scott, Baylor Sessums, Gracie Harp, Hannah Chennault and Trynity Chapman.
The Pop Class features, Lannie Farris, Eryn Pickering, Michaelyn Pendergraft, Lillie McGhee, Angel Wilson and Olivia Hostetler.
Featured Soloists: Madison Brown and Katelynn Humphrey.
And, the youngest age group, cleverly named the ‘Tiny Dancers’, are Ruby Jack Lenoir, Leland Jones, Reese Alsup, Mabrye Clark, Karlie Harp, Ava Hicks, Remi Moore and Sia Thomas.
Being the dance company’s first recital, and some of the dancers first live performances ever, nerves and emotions were running high on Sunday night. None the less, all the performances went excellently and the audience was full of satisfied spectators.
After the performances, all of the dancers received trophies from the instructor for each of their classes, as they bowed to the audience in their shiny and colorful costumes. The competition team then awarded Mrs. McKee with roses following the award ceremony.
“It was exhilarating. I am so full of emotions right now that I am still nervous and it’s over,” McKee responded when asked how the first YWCA Dance Company recital went. ”Tonight is right up there with having my son, getting married, and receiving a scholarship for dance. So many people said it would never work in Paris and to hand out 24 trophies tonight just made me realize how blessed I am. And, to have a husband that said ‘go for it’, no questions asked; crazy.
“Dance is emotional,” she continued. ”When you dance it’s like the whole world disappears. You become someone new. Fearless. Beautiful. Strong. To see my girls experience that for the first time was the single most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. The Lord has truly blessed me in every way and I am honored that the YWCA and myself can offer teaching to the dancers of Paris.”
She then said with a laugh, “Now if only I could get this hairspray out of my nose.”
McKee extended a grateful ‘thank you’ to Angela Ward and all of the YWCA staff for their support in her Dance Company and extended a gift of flowers after the recital. She also recognized Frankye Sessums for her initial support, bringing the dancers she’s brought to the classes, and for the continued support she’s shown.
The YWCA Dance Company is growing, and there is plenty of room for more dancers. If you’d like to register your child in Dance at YWCA, contact Danielle Mckee at (903) 249-4460 or visit the YWCA, Tuesday – Friday, from 1-6:30pm.
Article by Josh Allen/Managing Editor