Byline: Ron Skrabacz
The Wheaton Grand Theater, 123 N. Hale St., will come alive with the magic of the season Dec. 13 and 14 when students from the Windy City Dance Studio in Wheaton and the Broadway School of Dance in Brookfield take to the recently renovated stage.
Ann Lenartson, head instructor at both schools, has been waiting 10 years to stage this particular performance, which promises to have something for everyone.
"I've been waiting and waiting to do this," she said. "It's a written and produced show that my teacher (Joyce Lang) did over 10 years ago. I'm doing a shorter version of it because I don't have as many students that are available to do it."
Still, on the small stage that used to house vaudeville acts almost 80 years ago, nearly 60 students will perform dance numbers ranging from ballet and lyrical to jazz, hip-hop and tap.
The show is titled "The Holiday Show," but the dancers are doing anything but taking a holiday.
"Practice is every week," Lenartson said. "And some girls come two to three times a week because of jazz and ballet and tap. So most of these girls are going to be in six to eight numbers. They have a lot to learn."
This particular production started back in June and the choreography in September. The show itself was created in 1990 by Lang, Lenartson's then teacher and mentor, who taught dance for 40 years.
When she and her husband retired and moved to Florida, she asked Lenartson if she wanted the show.
"When their house was built and they decided to move, she had tons of costumes and music and the whole world of dance," Lenartson said.
"When she left she said, 'Ann, I have this holiday show. Do you want to buy it from me?' She co-wrote, directed and created the costumes for this show, which requires about 100 performers."
Lenartson has been using the costumes for other productions since then, but had never resolved to tackle the show passed on to her - until now.
"Seven years later I've decided that I'm doing it," she said. …