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J&J Performing Arts Celebrates 14th Year with Summer ‘Toy Story’ Recital

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Advanced Hip Hop- Pizza Planet Workers -photos by Stephanie Blakeman

Dancers from JandJ Performing Arts presented their 14th annual Spring Recital June 10th and 11th in the Lassen College Gymnasium with nearly 1,000 people attending. 167 dancers, ages 18-months to mature adults, both male and female, graced the stage with performances in many different styles of dance, hip hop, jazz, clogging, ballet, tumbling, acro dance, modern and lyrical.

“As always,” said JandJ Owner and Artistic Director Jessica Newton Wade, “there were lifts that aspired to new heights, leaps and jumps, turns and partnering work that brought the audience to excitement, tears and laughter.”

The JandJ Competitive Team performed some of their award winning numbers, and songs from all eras and genres got the audience grooving along with some old and new favorites.

“All the proceeds from ticket sales go directly back to the show cost and then our senior scholarships,” said Wade. “So everyone who purchased a ticket helped to send these dancers off to their next adventure as college freshman.”

High School Seniors Luriah Hinshaw, Jessica Nobles, Alex Harr, Elise Valdivia and Jordan McCloughan were awarded scholarships from JandJ.

The recital’s theme was Toy Story and the audience loved following senior Luriah Hinshaw as Woody, the beloved cowboy, thru his journey of friendship, despair, hope and new confidence. According to Wade, Hinshaw’s performance in Wild Horses captivated the crowd.

Jessica Nobles as Buzz Light year ignited the crowd’s imagination as she flew thru acrobatic movements to the song Glory from Lady Gaga. Andy, played by dancer Camber Olexiewicz brought the story to life in her graceful solo, How does a moment last forever.

The naughty neighbor boy from next door, Sid, played by Allie Chandler performed a solo to Superstitious.

Combined Modern Routine with more than 40 dancers performing on stage

Special longevity awards were given to dancers who have been a part of JandJ Performing Arts since the studio opened in 2003. More than 50 dancers were recognized with 4+, 6+, 8+ and 10+ year awards.

According to Wade, the studio’s retention rate is in the top-25 in the nation.

“Dance is a lifestyle, promoting health and body awareness, as well as honoring the soul and sharing beauty with our audience.” said Wade, “Some dancers receiving the 4+ honors were barely 6-years old meaning they started in the Mommy & Me program at 18-months old and have continuously trained.”

Two of the dancers, Avvan Wade and Leighton Morley, who were honored with 6+ year awards, were part of JandJ’s first Mommy & Me class.

As always JandJ closed the show with a heartfelt song, What the World Needs Now, and gathered the entire cast of dancers for a stage-filling finale.

“Each dancer makes the show what it is,” Kat Guess, JandJ instructor says. “Before each show for 14 years JandJ warms up together, says a short prayer together, and then pumps the energy with a quote by Jessica Wade, I’m going to do whatever I do with a whole lot of energy – the dancers say it and increasingly get louder until the whole auditorium is filled with cheers!”

“Closing the 2016-2017 season was very bitter sweet,” said Jand J instructor Ashley Lively, “All the instructors agreed that this season was one for the record books. Attendance was amazing and the dancers truly all worked so hard.”

More than 50 dancers received longevity awards

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