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Phipps Dance Co. gears up for season

Members of The Phipps Dance Company are, front from left, Elizabeth Benson, Alyssa Casey and Kalyn Anderson; middle, Ellen Anderson-Benge, Katie Byron, Alanna Irwin and Erin Christensen; back, Hannah Kalmon, Mahalia Coronado, Kristine Zappa and Jessica Dornfeld; not pictured, Grace and Tash Bottum. Submitted photo

Ready to show their range of versatility, members of The Phipps Dance Company will perform at several upcoming venues. The group's first performance is in January.

"We have an especially talented group of dancers this season, so we're setting some challenging choreography on them," says Barb Zak, who along with Stephanie Campbell directs the group. "It's rewarding to see the progress they've made over the past few years."

Formed four years ago, the dance company, comprised of girls from the St. Croix Valley area, caters to more serious dancers between the ages of 12-18. The group has six seniors this season, several of whom plan to further their dance careers in college.

Guest choreographers are Denise Armstead and Joanie Mix, both from the Twin Cities. This year's program includes modern, jazz, lyrical, contemporary ballet and hip hop pieces with music ranging from the soundtracks of "The Piano" and "Into the Wild" to selections by Andrea Bocelli, the Beatles and The Moody Blues.

Armstead has set a piece to '60s folk music as well as alternative and classic rock that takes a look into how life used to be, how it is today, and what it might be like in the future. Mix has choreographed an athletic jazz piece.

The Phipps Dance Company will perform Friday, Jan. 9, at 7 p.m. at The Space -- A Center for Creativity in New Richmond, as well as Friday, March 20, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 21, at 2 and 8 p.m. at The Phipps Center for the Arts.

For more information, call The Phipps Center at (715) 386-2305.