Festival of Dance Story
The dance department at FIM Flint School of Performing Arts has been presenting a spring dance concert since 1987, with the first performance in 1994 titled Festival of Dance.
This year’s Festival of Dance performances will take place at 7 p.m. on May 13 and 3 p.m. on May 14 in the University of Michigan – Flint Theatre. It will showcase the work of the Flint Youth Ballet, Children’s Performance Workshop, Youth Dance Ensemble and Adult Ballet Ensemble.
Among the planned repertoire, Flint Youth Ballet will present the opening movement of George Balanchine’s Serenade. This will be the fourth time the ensemble has performed Serenade over the years—part of an ongoing partnership with the Balanchine Trust and FSPA.
“I am grateful an entirely new generation of dancers will have the opportunity to perform this iconic work,” said Karen Mills Jennings, chair of the FSPA Dance Division. “This represents our dancers’ recovery from dancing through the pandemic.”
For Luci Banasazak, a 16-year-old dancer in FYB, performing in Serenade is an anticipated highlight of the Festival of Dance. Banasazak has been dancing at FSPA since age three.
“I remember about four or five years ago when I watched the older dancers perform Serenade, and I wanted to dance in that ballet so badly because it was such a beautiful work of art,” said Banasazak. “I can’t wait to be alongside all of my friends and express myself through this dance.”
FYB will also present a new work by guest choreographer Christopher Huggins. Jennings explained the importance of the dancers being exposed to contemporary works.
“This work has challenged them in so many ways. It is athletic, artistic and expressive. Huggins has worked all over the world with professional dancers – he knows dance and has inspired our dancers to new heights,” Jennings said.
Giselle Khouri, a high school senior, has been dancing at FSPA for 15 years. She started at three years old and will graduate from the advanced ballet class this year. Khouri’s favorite part about dancing at FSPA is the community.
“Every day I wake up and look forward to coming in and dancing with my peers,” Khouri said. “Even when faced with long and difficult rehearsals, we are able to get through it together. I feel incredibly fortunate to be a part of this.”
The Festival of Dance showcases the community built in the FSPA Dance Division and beyond.