Despite tragedy, the show must go on

The Kauai Academy of Dance and Gymnastics production “Follow Your Heart” might not have a familiar ring to it, but the story is actually a widely produced one.

That’s because it’s really the production of “The Nutcracker.”

Academy director Michelle Rozon explained that the production was originally supposed to go on in December, but the death of her father, Harold Frey, caused her to postpone the show.

“The kids worked so hard on the show so I didn’t want to cancel it. We already had spent so much time on it. Now it’s been about a year and a half since we started working on it,” Rozon said.

Rozon tried booking the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall for a timelier date, but it was all booked up till this weekend.

“The only available date was May 28, so that’s the soonest we could get in,” she said.

But in order to make the production work, Rozon made a few changes.

“I changed the title of the show to ‘Follow Your Heart’ because that’s always what my father told me,” she said. “There was a time when I hurt my ankle and that was pretty much the end of my dance career at that point. I didn’t know what to do because I didn’t have many other skills. But my father always told me to follow my heart and so that’s what I did.”

Then, Rozon made some changes with the dancers.

“We already had the costumes, but we turned the little snowflakes into shooting stars and some of the little dancers will be angels with wings,” she said.

Despite the long period of time from when rehearsals started up until now, Rozon knew that her dance students could put on a good show. Some left for a couple of months to play soccer or do other activities, but they came back for the show.

Rozon said that she followed her father’s advice to follow her heart, and that is how she ended up here on Kaua‘i

“I’m dedicating the show to both of my parents,” she said. Rozon’s mother passed away more than 10 years ago.

“The kids won’t be the only angels at the show. I know my parents will be with us that day too,” she said.

Want to Go?

What: Follow Your Heart

Where: Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall

When: Sunday, 4 p.m.

Tickets: $8

• Lanaly Cabalo, lifestyle writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or lcabalo@kauaipubco.com.

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