Dance director and instructor Debbora Childress has offered dance classes for local youth through the city of Poway’s Community Services Department for 25 years.
Every year, the season culminates with a production at the . This year, Dance for Children will present a danced version of Alice in Wonderland, followed by a showcase of this season’s dances during the 22nd anniversary shows on Wednesday and Thursday.
“I’m so blessed to be so embraced by the community all of these years,” Childress said. “It’s been a really wonderful 25 years!”
The shows will open with a 50-minute version of Alice in Wonderland. About 40 dancers will perform in the show, which Childress’ students have rehearsed since January.
“Any story that I do, I try to take a positive twist on it,” Childress said. “Alice is a little odd, but it’s really fun to turn it into something fun and positive.”
Following the performance, Childress’ other students will take the stage to perform a variety of dance styles, including ballet, jazz, lyrical, tap and tumbling.
Altogether, the two-and-a-half hour show will feature more than 160 local dancers, ages 2 to 18 years old.
“It’s just so highly entertaining,” Childress said. “It’s joyful, it’s fun, it’s musical. It’s a great, healthy environment for kids and families.”
Childress and her 27-year-old daughter and fellow dance instructor, Kellie Childress-Nichols, rent space in Poway Community Park’s auditorium to offer various dance classes. Childress said her daughter was just 2 years old when she first launched the program.
She realized how much time has gone by when one of her former students enrolled her daughter into one of her dance classes last year.
“You keep doing the same thing and it doesn’t seem like so much time has gone by,” she said. “Every year it’s just gotten bigger and better.”
Childress encourages families to come to this week’s performances to see what Dance for Children offers for local youth.
“This is a wonderful time to see what the outcome of a great year of hard work culminates in, which is standing up on a stage and being applauded for a job well done,” she said.
“We’re featuring students from the Poway community, and I think that anytime you’re featuring the youth of the community doing something really positive with their energy and their time, it’s important to support by coming out and watching,” Childress said.
Performances take place at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts, located at 15498 Espola Road, on Wednesday and Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 each.
In other arts news:
- Local community dance studio, Step by Step Dance, will present a variety of dances during its performances on Saturday at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts. Dance styles include ballet, hip-hop, jazz, lyrical and tap. Performances will take place at 2 and 7 p.m. Tickets cost $10.
- continues this week at . The comedy, which is an original play by a local playwright, is about the important stages people experience throughout their lifetimes. The show premiered on June 10 and runs through June 26. Performances of the play take place on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. at PowPAC, located at 13250 Poway Road. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $13 for students, seniors and active military.
- The will offer a silk painting class on Thursday from 5-7 p.m. For more information, call Bonnie Stromer, the center’s founder and director, at 858-679-2787. The Xpressive Arts Center is located at 12257-B Old Pomerado Rd.