January 17, 2017
It was a crisp NYC morning, as tens of dance and choir groups unloaded at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, well-prepared to give the performances of a lifetime. Each group was quickly escorted to their respective dressing rooms, and dress rehearsals began. Both run throughs went smoothly, and rather than the typical backstage chaos, everyone stayed calm and somewhat relaxed.
At Lincoln Center, even the youngest dancers, starting at four or five years old, acted professional. The backstage crew was humbled to watch two youngsters’ jaws drop as they looked out on the 2,700 seat audience. For many the sheer size of David Geffen Hall would be terrifying; however, these dancers fought through their nerves gracefully. Usually dancing on New York City’s finest stages is a once in a lifetime experience, but Performing Arts Educators is so grateful to provide young artists with this opportunity annually. We also want to acknowledge the well oiled machine that is the Lincoln Center staff. They welcomed our groups with open arms and were a key component of our production’s success.
By 2pm both shows were in full swing. Carnegie Hall felt electric as the gorgeous choral voices echoed through the hall. Tony Award winner Chuck Cooper began the show with a beautiful song, which he sang a capella. Each choir also brought their own flare to the production, which made for a dynamic show. The singers’ enthusiasm was contagious; they truly appreciated what it means to perform at Carnegie Hall, one of the most famous venues in the world. Many performers may be intimidated by this prestigious venue, but not these singers. They were up for the challenge and all sounded so cohesive, especially in the breathtaking finale, musically directed by Peggy Dettwiler of Mansfield University.
Overall, PAE cannot express how thankful we are to everyone who made this MLK weekend a success. 2 shows, 2 venues, 1 PAE staff, 1 date and 1 time. Our shows went on without a hitch and we owe it all to our great partners.
Remember to use the hashtag #PAEtakesNYC to see any social media posts about our NYC takeover!
Hope to see you all next year!
August 1, 2016
Each group was given the morning off to enjoy the city before heading to Poble Espanyol for the show. Everyone arrived at the venue in the early afternoon to block, get ready, and wandering around the area. Poble Espanyol is an inclosed, miniature city which highlights all of the cultural influences of Spain. Within its parameters, there is a monastery, museum, glass blowing shop, a multitude of inspired streets, and more. This was truly a taste of each influence within Spain. Come 6pm, the show and LIVE STREAM began. Elaborate costumes were set off stage and the dancers prepared for show 2, but this time they needed to fill an amphitheater stage. The show began with Newcastle Academy’s Diamond Elite. Their group dances were uplifting, and their 3 solos were superb. Everyone was truly in awe of this group, especially due to their young age! Next, DanceWorks and Step By Step alternated numbers. They both maintain such a high level of intensity that they are perfect pair! DanceWorks’ african inspired dance brought heart and energy to the show. Furthermore, Step By Step’s tapping brother duet was a fan favorite! The two boys brought light and brotherly love to the stage! These groups kept the momentum going and no number was anything less than perfection! Next, Dean Dancers took the stage. Many of their fans showed up to live stream to support these lovely dancers! They simultaneously brought flare, attitude, and grace to the stage!! What an amazing group! Last, Joppa wowed us yet again! They never disappoint with their unique and raw dances. Finally, to close the show, PAE presented Kathy Costa of DanceWorks with this year’s Del Kieffner Award. Kathy won this award for her years of hard work and talent! Congrats Kathy! We wish every show could be filled with this amount of fantastic dancers!
The live stream on Performing Arts Educators’ Facebook is linked below.
July 31, 2016
Exhausted after last night’s performances, the dancers and their families had all morning and afternoon to leisurely explore Barcelona. Some decided to stroll down the famous street of Rambala, many headed to the beach, and quite a few spent the day shopping around. Everyone then congregated in the lobby around 6:30 to head to Tordera for a medieval experience. The groups ate a traditional medieval meal, potatoes and chicken, for dinner while they watched a horse show. Once the medieval show was over, they headed next door for a concert and flamenco dancing show! The flamenco dancers were so authentic and precise, everyone loved them! We are looking forward to tomorrow’s show at Poble Espanyol!.
July 29, 2016
Anxiety levels were high this morning due to our 1st performance in the Spanish beach town of Calella. PAE and the dancers headed to the town around noon. This drive was accompanied by incredible views of the mountains and ocean. Calella is known for its charming streets and beautiful mediterranean beaches. The dancers and their families headed straight to the beach after arrival. Some also decided to go on a souvenir shopping spree! Then, after a few hours having fun in the sun, everyone met at the Town Hall Square to begin make up, hair, and run throughs. The stage was in the epicenter of Calella and drew a huge crowd (no chairs open). Nerves started to kick in, but the dancers remained as calm and collected as possible. At 6pm the show began with introductions of each group in both English, Spanish, and Catalan (the language of Barcelona). First up was Diamond Elite from Newcastle Dance Academy who are based in Delaware. Diamond Elite provided an energetic and clean performance. Next, Step By Step and Danceworks joined forces and alternated performances. A perfect pair, both these studios have such a high caliber of technique and energy. Then, Lillian Dean’s Dean Dancers took the stage. These kids rocked the crowd with lively numbers. Last, but not least, Joppa Dance gave moving and raw demonstrations of performance art. Their finale lingered in the audience’s mind because of its eery nature and song. Overall, today was a big success for PAE and all of its affiliated studios!
July 28, 2016
Our dancers first full day in Barcelona was jam packed with adventure. We started our morning with a lovely breakfast spread at our hotel. Then, each dance team boarded their coach on route to the famous Freixenet, a sparking wine facility. Our groups toured and learned all about the Catalonian-grown sparkling wine, also known as Cava. This tour was followed by a tasting, Cava for the adults and white grape juice for the kids. Many would think a tour like this is geared towards the parents; however, the children were just as enthused! After our underground tour and tasting, the coaches left for Monserrat, a mountain right outside of Barcelona. Monserrat is a special destination for Spaniards, Catalonians, and tourists. This is because of its historic monastery and church located on the peak of the mountain. The peak also included a small farmer’s market, tourist shops, and breathtaking views. To quote a young Diamond Elite dancer, “I will probably never see anything more beautiful in my life than this view right here.” This stop provided amazing photos, delicious gelato, and the opportunity to make a wish on the Black Madonna. Legend says that if you hold the hand of this well- known statue you will be granted your ultimate wish! However, our wish has already been granted, the opportunity to work with such amazing groups in fabulous places around the world. We are eternally grateful. See you tomorrow!
Tonight’s activity: Run- throughs for tomorrow’s show in Calella
July 27, 2016 9:10 pm
This morning began with constant chaos at the airport, per usual. After the dancers arrived, jet lagged and sleepy, they hopped on the tour buses and took a look around the city. Each bus had their own tour guide who pointed out special monuments and hot spots. PAE organized this tour in order to acclamate the groups to the area before they begin adventuring. Once each bus arrived at the beautiful Catalonia Plaza Hotel, they were given their room keys, Great Days packets, and a free night. Many took advantage of the time for a quick power nap before dinner, which of course isn’t until 9 pm in Spain. This open time allowed dancers and their families to take a look around the city or perhaps the more popular option, visit the rooftop pool, bar, and restaurant. Overall, today started out quite hectic with missing luggage and delayed flights, however it ended in true Spanish fashion, on a calm, relaxing note. We are so excited for the action-packed week ahead!
Weather: Hot, sunny, and clear. 86°
Dance Groups On Board: Joppa Dance Company, Lillian Dean Dancers, DanceWorks, Step By Step, and Diamond Elite New Castle Dancers
July 24, 2016 4:47 pm
As the PAE staff eagerly awaits the arrival of our groups this Wednesday, we explored the beautiful city of Barcelona, Spain. We adventured through the streets near our hotel and found cute stops that we must show our dancers when they land. Everyday is jam packed with places to go and things to see, so we headed to the Museo Nacional de Arte de Cataluña. This museum looked like a castle and had a perfect panoramic view of the city. With so much to offer, Barcelona is the perfect site for our dancers! Combining both historic and new world streets, Barcelona is home to everything. Our last stop of the day was to the roof top pool at our hotel, Catalonia Plaza Hotel, located right in the epicenter of Spanish life. The pool overlooks all of Barcelona and is open everyday during our stay! We can’t wait to share this wonderful place with our groups! See you soon!
April 11, 2016 7:50 pm
This year as part of PAE’s Summer Stages, we are visiting Barcelona, Spain. Alongside dance studios such as Joppa Dance, Danceworks, Pottstown Dance Theatre, and more, PAE will be posting daily travel diaries. This summer will include many new, exciting features, including social media takeovers and weekly photo challenges. Keep up with your favorite dancers as they leap through the Mediterranean! Check out the blog daily for exclusive back-stage content!
January 12, 2016 10:36 pm
Members of Performing Arts Educators production team have hit the road traveling from Orlando, Florida to NYC for Performing Arts Educators 10th Anniversary Celebration at Carnegie Hall. Saturday, January 16th will be a special day for many as over 400 performers come together under the direction of their teachers,, directors and mentors , combined with over 2400 in the audience there to show their support for these performers in honor and dedication to their love of song and dance. Check back often for photos and highlights leading up to our 10th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday!
August 8, 2015 12:35 am
The American Alliance of Performing Arts Educators is pleased to announce that it has awarded The Del Kieffner Award to Kathie Kececi for 2016. The Del Keiffner Award is an annual award given by PAE to recognize a director who represents those attributes desirable in all youth performing arts directors whether it be of instrumental, choral or dance groups.
The Del Kieffner Award honors a devoted music director, Del Kieffner of Orlando, Florida, who stands a representative for the multitudes and generations of performing arts teachers who each in his or her own way have selflessly taught and nurtured succeeding generations of young student performers.
Performing Arts Educators is pleased to present The Del Kieffner award to Kathie Kececi for her work among the students of In Motion: at Dorothy Del Guercio School of Dance in Mendham, NJ, as a mentor, friend, teacher and choreographer as well as for your support of those underlying values which unite all performing arts teachers.
The award will be presented to Kathie Kececi at Performing Arts Educators 10th Anniversary Celebration at Carnegie Hall on January 16, 2016