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Toes Out, Heels Together

Bay area ballet and dance academies are holding their annual recitals this time of year, and one of the finest is the Classical Ballet Training Program Showcase, presented by the department of Education and Humanities at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

The event takes place at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 1, in Ferguson Hall.

This year's performance reflects the aspirations and exuberance of the program's devoted young dancers. The show demonstrates their versatility, as the student dancers perform a repertoire of classical ballet, flamenco and contemporary dance. In addition, students are partnered with special guest artists from the Tulsa Ballet to perform several grand pas de deux (grand dance for two). The grand pas de deux falls into five parts: entrée, adage, variation for the danseuse, variation for the danseur and the coda, in which both dancers dance together. These dances should be dramatic highlights in the concert.

The Classical Ballet Training Program is under the direction of Haydée Gutiérrez, whose students have received scholarships to the School of American Ballet in New York, Stuttgart Ballet in Germany, The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theatre in New York, Houston Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem in New York. Not bad.

Despite the scarcity of arts funding (especially for dance), part of the program's funding comes through a Challenge Grant from the State of Florida and the Florida Arts Council. This is as much an endorsement of the program as the success of its students in achieving professional stature as dancers, teachers and choreographers with major dance companies.

For more information about the Education and Humanities department at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, visit The Center's website at www.tbpac.org.

The Center is located at 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa (813-229-7827).

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