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  • Last modified 78 days ago (May 3, 2018)

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Kids ‘Tiptoz’ through dance recital

Saturday performance draws more than 200 spectators

News editor

The shine of sparkly costumes and the sound of tap shoes graced the Performing Arts Center stage Saturday, culminating the first season of new chapter in Marion youth dance.

“It’s been really good,” Anneliese Troxell, owner of Tiptoz Dance Company said.

Troxell’s home studio is in Council Grove, one she started managing five years ago with a partner when both were living in Europe. Troxell also has a studio in Herington.

The approach she used in Marion is one she hope she can use to build rural dance communities and a stream of dance teachers to keep them going.

“In a small town, you usually get one person who knows how to do it but they get exhausted, they need help, or they just move on,” Troxell said. “What I’m hoping to do with Tiptoz is to have the same studio, so when a teacher has to go, not everything has to change, just maybe a new teacher.”

Troxell worked with Marion Parks and Recreation to establish an affordable per-child fee for use of the community center for practices, avoiding the more expensive route of renting a building.

For a teacher, she turned Emma Ayre, a Kansas State University junior majoring in criminal justice and minoring in dance.

“The best place to find teachers for rural communities is the colleges,” Troxell said.

Ayre made trips for practices once a week.

“Every Tuesday I would leave Manhattan around 2 p.m. to get here for rehearsal at 3:45 p.m.,” Ayre said. “It was really hard to do it on my own at first. I’ve taught before, but never solely on my own, so it was definitely a learning process.”

Working from parent surveys and Ayer’s expertise, instruction was provided in ballet, jazz, and tap. Routines for Saturday’s recital were choreographed by Ayre, with support from Troxell.

Troxell said parental input was particularly important.

“What we wanted to do was to put the power with the community and let it be a community-driven program,” she said.

Now that this year’s abbreviated trial run has been a success, both Troxell and Ayre hope to return with complete fall and spring schedules.

“Next year our plans would be to start in September and go through May,” Troxell said. “We’ve had really supportive people. We sure want to come back.”

Ayre agreed.

“I want us to come back,” Ayre said. “I’m leaving my schedule open until then. I hope they want us back. We could even move it to two days a week.”

Last modified May 3, 2018

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