Haitian Dancers Seek New ‘Sole Sisters’

Haitian Dancers Seek New ‘Sole Sisters’

Haitian Dancers Seek New ‘Sole Sisters’ PORT AU PRINCE, HAITI. In 2011, this city was ranked 221 out of 223 cities for quality of life. On the edge of the city is an orphanage for girls called House of Joy. Says O’Fallon resident Cindy Keagy, “this orphanage was started 3 years ago by Pastor Jean Brisenault and his wife, Joseline. The majority of the girls came from Cite Soleil, probably the poorest and most over crowded area in Haiti.  That is where the Pastor came from and he knows the chances of making it out of that poverty are very slim. Most of the girls had not attended school or been a part of a church community until they came to live at House of Joy. Some are orphaned and others come from large families being raised by single mothers. Since Pastor and his wife have one daughter, they decided to start an orphanage for girls only.” Like girls anywhere else they have hopes and dreams, “The girls dream of being a ballerina or a dancer but in Haiti they do not have the opportunity. There is only a small group of us going this summer and we’re trying to come up with some things the girls would think was super exciting. We do not have any training in dance but are taking music and a ballet instruction video so hopefully they will pick up a few things but mainly just have fun. My friend that is going with me is making tutus,” says Keagy. There are eighteen girls, mostly between the ages of eight and ten. “They are extremely interested in ballet and...
Dance Dad Uses Woodworking for Recitals

Dance Dad Uses Woodworking for Recitals

Dance Dad Uses Woodworking for Recitals Ever wonder what makes a recital great? Clearly, a good recital entails a lot of forethought and organization–planning which kids will be in each act and what costumes match the music, picking songs that fit the theme, and creating a flow that seamlessly transitions from one act to another. But what about the set? Mike Wilson is a whiz with power tools, and has a real can-do attitude about nearly any project imaginable. Given enough time, he can figure out a great way to make something just perfect to solve whatever dilemma is presented. A few years ago, dance studio owner Michelle Revelle started asking him to make the backdrops for her dance concerts. After some consideration, he agreed. He is after all a dance dad, specifically, hers. I asked Mike about how he came to be so handy. He said, “I’ve been building things since I was very young, like Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs and Erector Sets, etc. Then came the usual bird houses, and wooden copies of fishing lures that actually caught fish. Turning an idea or a picture into something real has always been very satisfying for me. The process is at least as enjoyable as seeing the finished product.” The last few years, the backdrops have gotten more and more elaborate, with lots of detailed cutting, special paint techniques, and even hidden lights that can be dimmed.  Mike says, “my wife Kathy and daughter Michelle come up with great ideas and it’s my job to make it happen, so far so good. The thing that makes the backdrops so challenging is that I’m usually given...
Can a Few Flowers Make the World a Better Place?

Can a Few Flowers Make the World a Better Place?

Can a Few Flowers Make the World a Better Place? It’s a great idea to give flowers to your dancer after their recital, and sometimes giving flowers has more impact than you’d expect. The first full weekend of June is usually a beautiful weekend–with temperatures in the 80s, blue skies, and endless days for the kids. By then Summer, in attitude if not in season, has begun. Every year on this weekend, My King Studio holds it annual Dance Concert. It is a busy time, merging excitement along with teamwork and a bit of anxiety. In parallel with this event though, there is always a sideline. Flowers. It is a tradition that every year parents and family buy flowers for their dancer and present them at the end of the show as a way of saying “Great Job!” Obviously, flowers are available at lots of places, from the local florist to a neighbor’s front yard (Not Recommended). But MKS always has another option. Each year a local group coordinates flower sales to benefit a cause. In years past, they have benefitted a Boy Scout Troop, provided mosquito nets to prevent Malaria in Africa, benefitted the Churchill School in Town & Country, helped to provide running water and sanitation to a village in Africa, and helped out a local family struggling with a child going blind. (seriously–those last two links are worth a click…) This year, the flower sales are being led by the Christian Middle School Dance team to raise funds for their program. Please be encouraged to preorder by May 17th at this link, or buy some flowers at the...