Recitals aren’t just for parents.
That’s the message Laramie Dance and Arts Center is sending to the community by keeping its annual recital free to the public, co-owner Kati Hime said, adding the lack of an admission fee is also valuable to the parents and friends of the studio’s dancers.
“One thing we’re really proud of is (that) our recital admission is free,” she said. “We feel like it’s our report card, so to speak. We want our families to feel welcome to come and attend and see what their kids and their older dancers have been doing. We don’t want people to feel like they have to pay a lot to come see what they’ve already been paying a whole year for.”
The 2018 recital embraces the theme of “Around the World” and incorporates a diverse range of talent.
“It is a multi-discipline show,” Hime said. “It has our Irish class participating; our belly dance group is performing. We’ve got all ages. We have some people in their 60s that perform with us down to little 2- and 3-year-olds, so it’s a wide age range, a wide discipline range with different kinds of dances, so it’s a pretty fun show.”
The studio community picks a different theme each year, but what individual instructors do with that theme is up to them, Hime said.
“We do that because we want them to have their creativity be on display and we have a lot of different teachers that have a lot of different strengths that they bring to the table. We really want to give them a blank slate, basically, to create.”
From vacationing to Scottish rocket scientists to “out of this world” — a variation on the recital’s central theme — the various disciplines develop their own unique segment.
“One of our point groups is taking on an extraterrestrial idea with theirs,” Himes said. “One of the hip-hop groups is doing a piece based on the ocean, so everything is based on ocean life and the way the ocean waters move — they use a lot of body movements that exemplify the waves changing and things like that. It’s pretty neat to watch.”
The variety keeps the recital engaging, Hime said.
“Teachers really took it from geographic locations to more elements of travel or different things about the world that you wouldn’t think of,” she said. “People come up with pretty much everything and from there it takes all these twists and turns and we’re always pretty impressed with what people come up with.”
In addition to the genres one might expect of a dance studio — ballet, hip-hop, jazz, tap, Irish — the Laramie Dance and Arts Center includes other types of movement such as cheerleading and taekwondo.
The expansion into other art forms has been driven by a desire — on the part of Hime and her husband, Levi — to offer Laramie more.
“We’re trying to expand it into a place for many types of art to have a home,” she said. “We’re getting into some music and we’d like to expand it into art and we’d like it to be a place for many different types of the arts. Dance is our focus right now, but we also have some different types of movement.”
Founded in 2005, the studio was bought by Kati and Levi Hime in 2014 and began to expand its offerings.
“My husband and I grew up in Laramie so we’ve grown up seeing what the community could be better served by having,” she said. “We’ve seen what’s come. We’ve seen what’s gone. And we feel that there’s a need for that kind of place.”
The recital is from 1-4 p.m. June 2 in the Laramie High School Auditorium. Admission is free. Go to www.laramiedancecenter.com for more information.