A dance for everyone

NEWPORT BEACH — For young dancers, auditioning for the high school dance company can be intimidating. Cami Marseilles, the director for Corona del Mar School's Orchesis Dance Company, says it doesn't have to be that way.

Marseilles held a dance camp Saturday for K-6 students interested in trying new dance styles and joining Orchesis when they get older.

"We're really excited that you guys are here because we love to share Orchesis with the community," Marseilles told parents as they packed into the campus' dance studio to see their children perform a short jazz, hip hop and musical theater routine.

Orchesis is focused on the artistic, storytelling side of dance and the 22 girls don't compete, Marseilles said. The company does perform, however, with its biggest show coming up at 7 p.m. March 1-3 in the Loats Theatre at Newport Harbor High School.

The camp was a chance for the younger girls to feel what it's like to be a part of a high school dance company, said Orchesis co-President Marisa Epstein, 17.

Fellow co-President Paige Hall, 17, said she wanted the younger girls to understand that all the Orchesis girls have dance in common, but they've also grown into a family.

"It's just an amazing experience that every girl should have," she said.

Marseilles advised parents and students interested in one day being on Orchesis to take ballet classes, dance every day and take classes with a variety of teachers.

Dancers Allie Antoyan, 8, and Mya Galante, 9, both left the camp wanting to join Orchesis.

"It was really fun and I loved it because we got to learn all these new dances," said Mya, who was new to dance but has a background in gymnastics.

Having fun is exactly what Orchesis freshman Janelle Kaneda, 14, wanted the young dancers to take with them.

"I want them to see that Orchesis is really fun and dance is just about having a good time," she said.

The camp also served as a fundraiser to help offset the $3,000 to $4,000 in donations needed to cover the cost of each girl to participate.

"I think it's really special that instead of doing a carwash, we can do something that really means something, that benefits the community," said Marisa.


Twitter: @britneyjbarnes

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