GRAND RAPIDS - Two young ballerinas from Bemidji, Kate Loxtercamp and Ingrid Dehler-Seter, were excited about their Saturday night dance performance at the Reif Performing Arts Center in Grand Rapids for more than one reason.
The show was the first since it was announced that renowned James Sewell would be the artistic adviser to the Reif.
The program for the evening included choreography and dancers from Minneapolis-based James Sewell Ballet.
The second reason was that the highlight of the evening was the dance competition, "Dancing with our Stars," during which Grand Rapids notables coupled with company dancers. For the second year in a row, Ingrid and her partner, Jim Denny, the Grand Rapids chief of police, won the trophy. They danced to Ingrid's original choreography of "Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer. It was apparent from the crowd's reaction that the duo would match last year's finish when Ingrid danced with the sheriff.
Kate, a Bemidji High School sophomore, has been accepted to the American Ballet Theater summer program so she will be heading the Lincoln Center in the heart of Manhattan in a couple of months.
"I love dance and that's what I want to do for as long as I can," Kate said.
Ingrid, a high school senior, also will head to New York as she has accepted a dance scholarship at the highly regarded Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, N.Y.
"I plan to audition for a contemporary dance company in the future," Ingrid said. "I do not plan to be a classical ballerina."
Both girls agreed that dancing with Sewell Ballet for the production has been "an amazing experience."
Ingrid went on to say that Sewell showed her how to dig deeply within herself to find the emotion needed for her solo piece, "Stuck," with choreography by Christina Anderson and music by Sigur Ros.
Kate agreed that it has been an "incredible" experience working with the new artistic advisor as well as the opportunity to see the Sewell Ballet perform in the Cities.
"We took classes with them and it was a great opportunity to dance with different people and get different exposure," Kate said.