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Collaboration in the Community by T. R. M. Ivey inspire, support, and build our community through collaboration. W

Miss Persis Studio, in Arlington Texas, has been collaborating with the community for 50 years now and is still going strong. They perform annual Elf Shows for the community, hold master classes and workshops, put on the annual scholarship fund Teen Talent Follies, and have even collaborated with local schools to get everyone dancing and moving.

Persis Forster Senior is the mastermind behind the notorious Elf Shows. The show is a must-have in the community for fifty years now. Smart Elves, Singing Trees, Dancing Ballerina Dolls, and Singing Santas are among the list of entertaining characters in the Elf Show. The group performs at area nursing, memory care, and assisted living homes, and hospitals. Other performances include shows at Randol Mill Park, Arlington Public Library, and Christkindl at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Elf Show is also booked for community civic groups such as Arlington Woman’s Club, the Jaycees and The City of Arlington. This year alone they have performed the Elf Show thirty-seven times. With so many shows and so many years, the numerous hearts this group has touched during the holiday times is immeasurable.

The Company performed at the Miss Arlington Pageant, Arlington Fine Arts League, local galas, The University of Arlington events and more.” The DTA group has grown into holding a two-day convention yearly called Dance!Texas. Dance!Texas is held in down- town Arlington and has Master Classes for dance, musical the- atre, and show choir students as wells as students that desire to “major in musical theatre and college students who want to enhance their dance and musical theatre education.”

Dance!Texas is not only about what you will learn, but meeting new faces and building your network. The instructors come from all around the world, including several from our huge talent pool in Texas. Past Master Instructors have included Todrick Hall, a TV and Broadway household name, Leslie Scott, a judge from America’s Best Dance Crew and choreographer to many artists such as Ciara, George “Geo” who has a laundry list of A-list celebs he has dance with and choreographed, and Ben Stevenson, a Principal Dancer with the London Festival Ballet.

This year they include returning Master Teacher Jenny Durbin Smith, two-year Dance Captain of the Dallas Mavericks. Collaborating with such vast worldly known instructors gives the

e see a lot of dance groups perform, compete, and hold classes. What many do not realize is the impact they have on the community. Dance is a way to unite,

Dance Theatre Arlington is a way Miss Persis offers extra training in a pre-professional format. DTA started in 1980 with bringing in guest teachers and offering more performance opportunities. As Persis Ann states, “Dance competitions were not prolific then and we did civic shows for a lot of the same groups as the Elf Shows.

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February-April 2017

DANCE! NORTH TEXAS a publication of the dance council of north texas

vol. 20 • no. 1

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