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DancerPalooza is a big hit in Long Beach

The far-reaching and big-dreaming Break the Floor Productions has had a busy summer hosting many stellar, world-class events. Right before hosting the popular Dance Teacher Summit in New York, the organization launched its newest project – DancerPalooza.

Dreamed up by Executive Director Gil Stroming and co-led by dance veteran Robert Lee, DancerPalooza hit Long Beach, Cali for six days at the end of July with a slew of star-studded festivities. Thousands of dancers arrived at Long Beach Convention Center to partake in dance classes, performances and parties led by energetic dance stars representing nearly every side of the dance spectrum. It truly was an event to remember, blowing the lid off the traditional concept of an annual dance festival and exciting attendees for what is sure to be a highly anticipated event for many years to come!

Sophia Lucia

Sophia Lucia signs autographs in the Capezio Zone at DancerPalooza. Photo by Dance Informa.

Capezio was the Presenting Sponsor for DancerPalooza, which was attended by more than 2,000 dancers and has already announced that it will return bigger and better next summer! Capezio is already looking forward to next year. For the event’s expo – named “Beat Street” – Capezio presented the exclusive Capezio Zone, a premier booth showcasing the company’s revolutionary dancewear, shoes and products. Center stage at the Capezio Zone was the new Tapsonic tap shoe that is creating waves across the industry. It was revealed for the very first time at DancerPalooza, to much excitement by the tap community. Capezio even gave away special prizes and had signings with famous teen dancer Sophia Lucia, who also performed at the event in an outfit by Capezio.

Tap dancer and choreographer Ryan Kasprzak, who taught at the festival’s musical theatre intensive, said, “DancerPalooza is amazing! It’s incredible to see such diversity under one roof and not just hundreds of dancers, but thousands of dancers! The energy in the building is electric and it’s awesome to see!”

Teaching alongside Kasprzak in the many style-specific intensives were Capezio Athletes Ayodele Casel and Anthony Morigerato, plus dance celebrities like Mandy Moore, Travis Wall, Mia Michaels, Sonya Tayeh, Misha Gabriel, Bobby Newberry, tWitch, Nick Lazzarini, Kim McSwain, Ivan Koumaev, Kenny Wormald, Marty Kudelka, Shaun Evaristo, WillDaBeast and Mike Minery.

Kasprzak said, “It is really fun for the teachers to see all the other styles and to see so many all-star faculty members and fellow performers. That’s really a credit to this event!”

Likewise, Ayodele Casel exclaimed, “The vibe at DancerPalooza was exciting! It was fantastic being part of an event where the energy was focused on programming designed to educate and entertain all of its participants.”

Capezio Athlete Kalani Hilliker of Dance Moms fame was also seen performing at the event. Plus, NYCDA Capezio Model Search Winner Camila Schwarz was in attendance. She stopped by Dance Informa’s booth to say hello along with Shaping Sound’s hunky dancer Teddy Forance, among other stars.

Forance, who performed and taught during the festival, said, “We love coming out to perform and teach at events like this. To be able to inspire these dancers and them to inspire us, it’s a beautiful way of recycling creativity. And these kids are doing things that we couldn’t even dream of at that age! They’re amazing!”

The hype only grew as the event seemed to go on too. From the local dance enthusiast to the die-hard aspiring pre-professional dancer, there was something offered for everyone.

After presenting classes all day, DancerPalooza also offered attendees the chance to enjoy live dance performances, from the routines presented by teen competitive dance soloists on the Hall of Fame Performance Stage at Beat Street to ticketed evening performances featuring companies like Movement Lifestyle, Jaci Royal’s Royal Flux and Stacey Tookey’s Still Motion Dance Company.

Overall, DancerPalooza’s first year was an event to remember! Make sure to save the date for the 2015 festival, set for July 21-26. For more information, visit www.dancerpalooza.com.

Article by Chelsea Thomas of Dance Informa.

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