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“North County DanceArts Proves to be Limitless”. Show review and commentary as seen on July 28, 2012. Reviewed by San Diego Theatre Reviews, Steve and Joanie Shirley
Titled “Limitless 2012” the evening was a total Success! I’ve participated in and seen hundreds of recitals and, a recital is somewhat different in approach than a concert. It is meant to showcase the work of the students first and give satisfaction to the parents who fund the project, rather than to primarily wow an audience of patrons who might have little connection to the performers. This recital was the Best of its class I have ever had the privilege to attend. Something to put on your own agenda, first, to see how one is done perfectly and second, to decide where you might want to send yourself or your kids to study all aspects of dance.
The opening video under the direction of Kelly Pratt, showed their studio facilities located on Carmel Country Road, some class training sessions, and then beautifully morphed into the program cover picture of a ballet dancer saluting the ocean off a local pier. The opening introduction by Director Louis McKay set the stage perfectly for the evening’s offerings with a prayer of thanks. Due to the vast number of students in training at this studio, this Mandeville Auditorium (in La Jolla) performance was long (about 3 ½ hours). This is also one of the time drawbacks of attending a dance school recital, however, that said, we enjoyed every presentation offered to the very end.
This evening showed the precision fine turning ability of these dancers. Where other professional concert companies are trying to master grand double tours, North County DanceArts recital dancers appear already, to be masters of unison triple and quadruple revolutions. I don’t recall any turns in the air but many in this ensemble could be doing ‘doubles’ in the air with ease. On the other hand like most other companies, the turns were 99.99% done to the right. I don’t really remember even a double turn by anyone to the left. I would bet all the choreographers are right handed and footed. I never had a left handed dance teacher so even though I am a lefty, my turns were also far better to the right. Tonight’s choreography vocabulary might have been tripled in an effort had been made to balance turns in both directions.
Jazz, Modern, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Ballet, Broadway and the fusion of all of these styles was spectacular. What I have never seen in the repertoire of any other dance company to this degree was mastery in the style of Tap. Thousands of hours of classes, individual practice and rehearsals for years on end have to be committed to reach this level of excellence. What I thought to be a lost dance skill is alive and flourishing in this North County DanceArts Company. Add lyrical rhythms and movements and they will have it all. A couple of tap numbers were overpowered by the volume of the music as, I could see the beats, but couldn’t hear the taps and their tapping is so great.
Our favorite of the evening’s forty-plus offerings was a number choreographed by Anthony Rodriguez to Barbapapa’s Groove but this is drawing a very fine line. Almost everything was near perfect this evening and it was a recital. I hope to be at these guys’ next concert. Being in this Mandeville Auditorium was like being at a family reunion with family you really like. These people care for each other to do this kind of performance, at this level of professional presentation, just for the joy of being in each others’ company is an awesome undertaking. “Thank you all so very much!”
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Louis McKay is President of North County DanceArts, Inc. located in Carmel Valley and currently trains 400 students from ages 3 to 93 years of age. Louis has performed and taught Master dance and musical theater classes in 42 of our 50 states and Europe and South Africa. In 1980, Louis McKay opened Louis McKay Dance Studio, later to become North County DanceArts, Inc., which is a teaching facility that is best known for its professional teaching staff and quality dance training. Dancers from beginning level to professional are taught technique, terminology, and discipline in a nurturing and fun environment. Louis currently lives in Carmel Valley San Diego with his wife Tanya and is the proud father of four grown children and two grandchildren. Louis and Tanya McKay also own DanceHearts, a 501 (c) (3) Public Charity called Bells of Freedom Program, serves military men, women and their families by providing emergency care and support, back to school backpack program, vehicle donations and the annual “The Big Thank You” Military Holiday Event.