Taylor to welcome dancers from 13 states for Mid-States Regional Dance America Festival

These 10 Ballet Americana dancers are among those who will perform modern dance over three nights.

Joy Squire, director of Ballet Americana, stands in the new Prechter Center at Wayne County Community College District.

TAYLOR — The Mid-States Regional Dance America Festival 2010 will be held Thursday through Saturday at the new Heinz C. Prechter Educational and Performing Arts Center at the Downriver Campus of Wayne County Community College District, 21000 North Line Road.

Ballet Americana of Taylor will host the event, themed, “We dance for joy.” Organizers say it will attract an estimated 300 dancers and staffs from 13 states to celebrate their achievements and perform works selected by dance adjudication.

The Prechter Center will be the site of classes as well as performances.

Three of the latter are scheduled as follows:
● The “Opening Concert” at 7 p.m. Thursday. The performance will be shortened and include the introductions of directors and staff of visiting companies and instructors who will be taking part in the event.

● The “Concert Performance” at 7 p.m. Friday.

● The “Gala Performance” at 7 p.m. Saturday.

All performances will be open to the public; tickets will be available at the door.

Gala parties for the dancers, directors and staff are planned after each evening’s performance.

“We are extremely proud of all of our dancers and the tremendous support we’ve received from the community, our friends, the dancers’ families and local businesses,” said Joy Squire, the director of Ballet Americana.

“It has taken so many people to bring this together. We’re planning to offer them the best time in Michigan. We want to showcase the beautiful venue and the host city of Taylor.”

Mid-States Regional Dance America is considered the premiere organization for preprofessional ballet companies. Only those approved by adjudication — those with a high level of classical training — are allowed to become members. Deborah Hadley of the Pacific Northwest Ballet — one of the top ballet instructors in the country — served as adjudicator this year.

Ballet Americana is currently one of only three Michigan companies that are members, and the only one from Wayne County.

The festival is not a competition, organizers say, but rather a showcase for performers and an outstanding educational opportunity. Some of the top dance educators in the country will instruct classes in modern dance, jazz and ballet for guest dancers.

Patricia Squire Lorenz and husband Leif Lorenz of Ballet Americana are the artistic directors.

The faculty includes many highly-acclaimed instructors, including Joe Istre, Chio Yamata and David Howard of New York; Marjorie Grundvig, Dennis Marshall and Robert Moore of Pennsylvania; and Peter Sparling, a dance professor at the University of Michigan.

Five nationally known pianists have been hired to play ballet music for the performances, organizers say, including Steve Mitchell, a celebrated figure in dance accompaniment around the world.

For more information on Ballet Americana or the Mid-States Regional Dance America Festival, go to www.BalletAmericana. org, send e-mail to ballet.americana@comcast.net or call (734) 374-3904.