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YHS presents 'Arabian Nights'
The intrigues of a desert romance will sweep audiences off their feet when the Yuma High School Dance Program presents "Arabian Nights" for two performances.
"Arabian Nights" will be performed at Snider Auditorium, 400 S. 6th Ave., Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door and will be on sale starting at 6 p.m. The production is adapted from Disney's "Aladdin."
Yuma High School prides itself in the arts and this show will be another show-stopping performance by the dance program, according to Tami White, dance teacher.
"These students work so hard and are just dedicated to their art. They never cease to amaze me," White said.
This is the annual spring dance concert, but what is different this year is that is a student-directed production. Although "Arabian Nights" would not have been her first choice, the students love the idea and it will definitely be a crowd-pleasing production, White said.
White praised both first-time student co-directors, Julie Koepp, who also plays Aladdin on Friday, and Anna Rincon, who plays Jasmin, the princess on Friday also. Brianna Garcia plays Aladdin, while Rae-Dawn Hartman plays Jasmin Thursday night.
White said that Julie, who only started dancing a couple years ago, has found a passion for dance and excels in her dance performance. Anna, the teacher noted, has given her heart and soul to dance and has progressed as a dancer, choreographer and now director. Both have done remarkably well in putting the production together from start to finish, she added.
"Arabian Nights" was selected because the students can put a lot of energy into dances that both dancers and audiences can enjoy, according Julie. She added that this will be a bittersweet performance since she is graduating but she leaves knowing the dancers remaining will continue to perform well.
"Dance is a way to express myself through various moves and when you dance you don't do it for yourself but connect with an audience."
Julie also said that directing gave her an appreciation for what other directors have to go through.
"But the best thing about it was seeing the whole show come together because of the effort of the cast. Even though there's a leadership position, it pulls through only because we all work together."
Anna agreed that directing can be stressful especially knowing the dancers make every effort to pull off their steps with professional precision.
"But dancing for me is not just about technique but the passion you put into it. Dancing not only release a lot of my stress but I get to tell stories through movement."
Anna said "Arabian Nights" will be a really good show for dancers and audience alike. She added that playing the character Jasmin made her realize that even a princess who lives in the lap of luxury cannot find happiness alone in her material comforts.
"But thanks to Aladdin, she falls in love and finds true happiness."