As over 130 extras participate in the second act of Owensboro Dance Theatre’s In Concert featuring Superhero Showdown, four high school seniors are taking their last bows as an Owensboro Dance Theatre company member. These seniors will each present a solo during the first act that each has choreographed and put to music to showcase their years of dedication and training. A video of pictures and movies of each dancer plays as well, often including clips when each performed at a younger age.
For Riley Carter, who has been dancing for 13 years, this show will probably be her hardest to perform.
“I can’t imagine not being around my ODT family next year and not performing with them,” Carter said. “Looking through all of the pictures was an emotional roller coaster for my family and me. It brought back so many forgotten memories.
Carter said that choreographing her solo was difficult due having so many songs and movements to choose from, but she is happy with it and feels lucky to perform it. She will be attending Western Kentucky University in the fall and plans to double major in pre-veterinary and dance.
Lydea Dickens, who has also been dancing for 13 years said that although she has been excited that it is her senior year, she is also sad because it is her last with ODT. She is very excited for the show, however, because she is dancing on the aerial silks, a type of performance where a dancer performs acrobatics while hanging from suspended fabric.
“I have taken the silks class for the past three years and have only gotten to perform it on stage for a recital,” Dickens said. “This year in our In Concert, I am on the silks for three of the scenes.”
Dickens just signed to attend Brescia University on a dance scholarship and will dance on their dance team.
“If it wasn’t for ODT and my training here, I don’t think that would have been possible,” Dickens said.
Abby Hagan has been dancing for nine years and although she is sad about her last ODT performance, she is excited to share the stage with her best friends one last time.
She said that being an upperclassman has been an amazing experience because they become the leaders for the company and apprentice company, but they also become role models for the younger dancers at the studio and the kids in the audience of the performances.
“It is magical to see their faces light up when they see us or watch us dance,” Hagan said.
She said that her senior solo is a joyful and simple piece that reminds her of the happiness that dance has brought her over the years.
For the video playing during her solo, Hagain chose a video of her cheering in her kitchen when she was young.
“I love how the video shows how my personality has stayed the same to this day — dancing around my house, in grocery aisles, in my car — always dancing,” Hagan said.
She will attend Kentucky Wesleyan College to study Occupational Therapy and later plans to use dance as a method of therapy for patients with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other similar illnesses.
Grace Millay has been dancing for eight years and said this show means so much to her.
“My senior solo is inspired by all of the emotions I have felt about leaving for college,” Millay said. “The photos I chose for my solo are some of my favorites of me as a young girl, and they bring back so many memories for my family and me.”
Millay will also continue her dance at Brescia University.
The two school performances of “Superhero Showdown” will be Thursday, March 14 at 9:15 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
Friday night, the Big Bang Bash will be held at RiverPark Center from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. This event includes dinner, dancing, games, contests and photos with superheroes.
Saturday is the 7 p.m. public performance of “In Concert featuring Superhero Showdown” at the RiverPark Center.
Tickets range in price from $15 to $38 with student pricing available and can be purchased here.