Roseville dance troupe rocks audience with Queen

The Midwest Youth Dance Theater rehearses for their original performance, “Somebody to Love,” which will debut at the Drew Fine Arts Center at Hamline University Jan. 17 and 18. (photos by Heather Edwards/Review)

Dancers in the performance range from age 9-18.

For listeners, the songs of “Queen” conjure images of football rallies and stadium concerts. But this week, the music of Queen will be combined with dance: modern, jazz and even ballet.

The Midwest Youth Dance Theater (MYDT) of Roseville will premiere their original performance, entitled “Somebody to Love,” at the Drew Fine Arts Center Hamline University 1530 Taylor Avenue St. Paul, St. Paul. Performances will be held Jan. 17 and 18.

“We were looking for something to help the students tell a story through dance...and Queen is known for epic storytelling in their songs,” said Brad Hamilton, who is co-directing the production with fellow MYDT teacher Emily Blacik Joos. “We also wanted the audience to have familiarity with the music so they could connect more easily to the story.”

“We’re extremely excited to debut this show which will feature our many talented dancers and amazing choreography,” said Janet Blacik, who has owned and operated the school with her daughter Emily for 20 years.

East side resident Leah Gulstrand, 17, has been dancing with MYDT since she was 4. 

“This show is special, because it’s so different,” she said. “I don’t think anyone has done anything like this before.”

The dancers, ranging in age from 9-18, are excited about their upcoming performance, but seem equally excited about their dance school itself. 

“I love it here at MYDT, it’s just one big family,” said Jacque Lenarz, a junior at Mahtomedi High School.

Lenarz, who has been dancing for 13 years, noted the school offers “both the advancement of a professional dance training and a friendly atmosphere.”

“It’s a close knit group,” agreed Roseville Area High School student Chloe Sekhran, 17.  “I’m an only child, but through MYDT, it’s like I have sisters.”

Chloe noted the show has its share of challenges.

“Because it’s a completely new show, no one is familiar with it,” she explained. “We have to work that much harder to get our message across.

“I like the challenge,” she added. “And it will be fun. Everyone loves Queen.”

The show will include many Queen favorites, including “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You” and “The Show Must Go On.”

Tickets for “Somebody to Love” are $12/adults and $8/children. Performances are at 7 p.m. Jan. 17 and 18, with an additional matinee at 2 p.m. on the 18th. For more information, call 644-2438 or purchase tickets at the door.


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