Anyone entering the Pasadena Convention Center on Saturday might have thought they were at a theatrical school such as The Juilliard School or a dance rehearsal hall. Sounds of tap dancing, classical music and the familiar countdown of â€œfiveâ€¦sixâ€¦sevenâ€¦eightâ€ echoed from every corner. Inside, dancers of all shapes, sizes and ages hurried from one class to another, all anxious to try something new or to experience a teacher they had heard so much about.
This was the first Pasadena Dance Festival, produced and presented by Lineage Dance.
â€œWe were part of a dance festival in Boston. It was an amazing event,â€ said Hilary Thomas, artist director for Lineage. â€œWe thought we should bring it here.â€
The festival offered classes and workshops from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in a variety of dance styles and training.
â€œI found out about this through a fellow dancer at GCC (Glendale Community College),â€ said Natalia Carrillo from Glendale. â€œThere are some good instructors here and with good techniques.â€
Seolah Cho, a junior from Glendale High School, said she takes dance at her school and was attending the festival to try styles she had always been interested in learning.
â€œI am trying many different types of dance, like Irish,â€ she said. â€œ I love dance. I love the way it makes me feel. I just feel lighter and happier when I dance.â€
Cho and Carrillo were joined by dancers who had studied for years and others who just loved to dance. They were drawn from all over the area; all shared the love of dancing and the stamina to run from tap dance to ballet to hip hop.
â€œThere has been such a good response,â€ Lineage Dance's Thomas said.
She added that they sent out a call throughout the Los Angeles dance studios for teachers. The Lineage board chose from those submitted.
â€œWe did fly out Chip and Phip Fuller ,who had a ballet studio in Pasadena for years. They had moved to Florida but were thrilled to come back to help,â€ she said.
â€œWe were in Pasadena for 27 years,â€ confirmed Chip Fuller. He and Phip said they were excited about being part of the festival. â€œThis is phenomenal,â€ Chip said.
Phip said that it was a good way to let dancers know what was available.
â€œLos Angeles is so diverse,â€ Phip said. â€œMany dancers have no idea what is available.â€
Both said that they were surprised when Thomas called and offered to fly them out for the festival.
â€œIt was the last thing we expected,â€ Chip said.
But their ballet class was extremely popular with dancers filling the stage just to get a chance to learn from them.
Thomas said this year's event was successful and she hopes it will return next year. The day was made possible in part from a grant through the Pasadena Arts and Culture Commission and the city of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division.