We’re Off to See the Wizard

Palm Arts Dance ballerinas practice for The Wizard of Oz

Satya Baca-Gomberg

Palm Arts Dance ballerinas practice for The Wizard of Oz

Gemma Andrew, Staff Writer

TELLURIDE – On Dec. 21, more than 80 Telluride dancers will take the stage to offer their rendition of The Wizard of Oz.

The program is put on by the Palm Arts Dance and includes types of dance like ballet, contemporary, hip hop, jazz, tap, and much more.

Participants in the show range in age and come from Telluride Elementary School to Telluride High School.  Older dancers will be leads such as Dorothy, the Tin Man and the Wicked Witch of the West and younger dancers will perform baby poppies, lollipops, bubbles, munchkins, and much more.

In past years, Palm Arts Dance has put on shows such as The Nutcracker and The Polar Express.

Palm Operation Director Kathy Jepson said they decided on The Wizard of Oz based on a suggestion from Nicole Hattler.

Hattler instructs ballet and has more than three decades of experience in dance.  She also runs accounts payable at the Telluride School District business office.  Hattler has instructed in Asheville N.C., Vail, Frisco, Grand Junction and Gunnison, as well as Telluride.

Jessica Galbo teaches contemporary dance and Keri Sutton teaches hip hop, tap, jazz, and the young ballerinas. All of these professional instructors are dedicated to teaching dance and creating fun choreography for students.

Valerie Madonia used to be the director of Colorado Ballet Academy. Madonia comes to Palm Arts Dance often to help with the classes. She used to be a full time instructor until 2013 when she moved to Denver.

All of the lead dance parts went to local Telluride dancers. THS senior Koko Walker is playing the part of Dorothy, THS junior Gemma Andrew is performing as the Wicked Witch of The West, Sophia Bridger is playing the Lion, Arabella Galbo will be acting as the Scarecrow, and the Tin Man will be played by Henry Regret.

Tickets to The Wizard of Oz performance are available on The Palm Arts website (https://telluridepalm.com). The cost is $10 for children and $20 for adults.  Tickets can also be purchased at the door for an additional $5.  The performance is Saturday, Dec. 21 at 6:00 p.m..

This performance should be very exciting because it is the first time The Palm is putting on a production other than The Nutcracker and The Polar Express. The teachers have been training students and perfecting this performance so it is enjoyable and overall an incredible performance.

Telluride Palm Arts dance provides so much for students and is an incredible learning experience no matter the age.