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Shoreline will join Sewell in 'Le Dance Off'

Local dance students will help James Sewell Ballet present "Le Dance Off" at 7 p.m. Friday April 27 at the Sheldon Theatre.

The show is both performance and a spoof, if you will, of reality dance programs on television, Sheldon Executive Director Sean Dowse said.

Take one live studio audience, two showmen, eight daring and original dancers, and you've got the makings for a theatrical event that promises to blur the lines between brilliance, showmanship and artistic insanity, according to the ballet company.

Borrowing the television competition format, James Sewell Ballet offers a collection of new choreography and audience favorites set to music ranging from Bach to Lady Gaga.

Brian Sostek plays Phil L'Esteen, the erstwhile producer of "Le Dance Off," and Sewell morphs into ringmaster Jim Swell. Together, they give the audience behind-the-scenes glimpses of the back-stage drama that goes into making the ultimate dance challenge.

"It's both a serious satire and humorous homage to the incredible range of dance and movement that's currently out there. As art and commerce collide, 'Le Dance Off' really explores the question, 'What is the essence of judging art?'" Sewell said.

Students from Shoreline Dance round out the cast.

"We love competition dance, but we have been searching for something more than just competition, some real-world type of dance for our students from the day we opened," said Cyd Mark, co-owner of Shoreline Dance.

Beth Bettich agrees with her business partner. "Our studio is greatly influenced by the world of dance in general, a more freeing type of dance than the strict guidelines of competition."

When competing against top studios in the Minnesota area, Shoreline dancers do very well, receiving Platinums, Judge's Choice Awards and high placements at every competition they attend.

"We believe in giving our students a well-rounded dance education and this partnership with the Sewell Ballet is the answer," the partners added.

This summer, James Sewell Ballet and Shoreline Dance will continue their joint efforts. Intensive lessons -- open to all area dancers -- will have Shoreline instruction for the first four weeks, closing with James Sewell Ballet instruction for the final two weeks, July 30-Aug. 10.

For "Le Dance Off," Shoreline will bring two pieces to the stage. "Sing, Sing, Sing" is a number involving 19 students ranging in age from 7 to 18. They are Makayla Adolph, Ella Bettich, Graci Bettich, Lynden Bettich, Jessi Breuer, Bryce Hammerschmidt, Anna Henn, Bekah Henn, Rylie Jones, Brooklyn Kemmerer, Josie Kvanbek, Elle Mark, Alisha Martin, Molly Ouret, Libertie Ryan, Madisyn Ryan, Sammy Schultz, Korbyne Stellrecht andEllie Warrington.

The other number, "My Love," will feature senior dancers Lynden Bettich, Meta Buck, Ruby Buck, Brittany Kemmerer and Elle Mark. Both dances are choreographed by Shoreline Instructor Kendall Mark.

Participate in the workshop

The James Sewell Ballet will bring its "Body Mind Wellness Workshop" to the Red Wing Family YMCA from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday April 26.

The workshop focuses on "intentful movement" that strengthens mind and body connections, according to Sewell. Dance represents a practiced approach to the design of movement. Thursday's program is designed to be accessible, fun and beneficial.

The workshop is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Register in person at the Y, over the phone at 651-388-4724 or online at