A spring in their step

“Spring to Dance,” presented by the University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance, is at the University of Wyoming through Friday.

Courtesy photo

A concert featuring an array of dance styles is set to hit the stage this week at the University of Wyoming.

“Spring to Dance,” presented by the UW Department of Theatre and Dance, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. today-Friday on the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts main stage.

Tickets are $14 for the public, $11 for seniors and $7 for students. Today’s performance is a pay-what-you-can night, with general seating. On Thursday, children from 5-12 will be admitted for free.

“Spring to Dance” is dedicated to the memory of Margaret “Margie” Small Mains, who came to UW in 1948 to begin a dance program.

“She founded the dance program at UW,” said faculty member Margaret Wilson, one of the show’s choreographers.

Mains, born in 1914, became interested in modern dance while attending the University of Illinois. She went on to study dance at the University of Wisconsin before moving to Laramie in 1948 with her husband, Alfred. She is considered a pioneer of modern dance in the Western United States.

Mains taught dance to children out of a home studio and directed a UW group called Orchesis. The group toured the country and conducted outreach programs at schools.

During a sabbatical, Mains studied and taught dance in Japan, while also visiting more than 20 other countries during her career. Her many awards include the Wyoming Governor’s Arts Award, UW College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Faculty Award and Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Dance Association. She died Sept. 25 in Laramie.

“She has a lot of friends in the community,” Wilson said.

In addition to Wilson, “Spring to Dance” is choreographed by guest artists and faculty members Jennifer Deckert and Maurice Watson. Styles include jazz, modern, European release and vertical dance. Local ensemble Lights Along the Shore will perform during the concert under the arrangement of Rod Garnett.

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