Kauai Dance Theatre spring concert is Saturday

KALAHEO — Janie Crane’s ballerinas will be traveling the world during Saturday’s “Passport to Dance” concert.

“The around-the-world theme is a fun way for students to appreciate music from other countries and cultures,” said the owner of Kauai Dance Theatre. “Learning to dance to musical styles and genres seldom encountered is a part of the educational process.”

From South America and Africa, to Europe and Asia, several dance styles will be featured. The performance will begin with a take off scene at an airport and will end with dancers returning home through New York City.

Crane said the most difficult dance to choreograph was the opening number, “At the Airport.”

“The scene is one of controlled chaos as dancers make their way through the airport corridors to catch their flight around the world,” she said.

The concert at Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall will boast the talents of 30 ballerinas, ages 4 to 16.

Leeyana Rodrigues, a 6-year-old student is looking forward to perform in front of an audience.

“My friends come to watch me,” she said.

Crane, who describes herself as perpetual dance student and teacher, moved to Kauai in the 1980s. Six years later, a ballet teacher on the island retired and asked her to take over.

She’s been teaching tap, contemporary, jazz and ballet from a dance studio above her home in Kalaheo ever since.

“Dance has been my passion for most of my life – first (and always) as a student, then as a performer, and now followed by teaching and choreography,” Crane said. “The greatest reward is seeing the joy on the faces of students as they reach each milestone of personal accomplishment through their dedication of time, effort and hard work.”

Waileia Ibbs, 7, said her favorite part of dancing is getting treats afterward.

“My dad gives me roses and candy,” she said.

Tickets for the spring concert are $12 at the door. Keiki three and younger are free.

The first performance starts at 2 p.m. A second follows at 5.

Proceeds will benefit Kauai Dance Theatre’s scholarship program and a new local nonprofit organization, Ohana Keiki Kauai, that educates children about healthy eating through fun cooking classes.

For more information, contact Crane, 332-9737, or visit KauaiDanceTheatre.com.

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