Superior School of Dance to perform spring show

CALUMET – The girls of the Superior School of Dance will be jumping, tapping, shaking and grooving to the sounds of music in The Calumet Theatre this weekend as part of the school’s biannual show.

This year’s theme will be “Life is an Open Book,” which will be represented through the various dances performed on stage by somewhere between 100 and 200 girls.

Nicole Polakowski, owner of the Superior School of Dance, said the show’s theme will present a heartwarming story about a little girl’s first trip to the library and how her books mature as she does.

Polakowski said the ideas for the show come to her through her everyday experiences.

“Usually it comes from just a random thought, maybe something I saw in real life and it’s a take off on that,” she said. “I have five daughters so sometimes it’s based on something that’s occurred in my house.”

Other things, she said, are just what’s happening in pop culture.

This current show has been in development since December, when they began doing choreography, picking music and holding auditions.

“I write the shows for the next year right after the winter show,” Polakowski said. “I’m always writing a show.”

Despite all the hard work, Polakowski feels that being able to see the final product makes it all worth it and is part of what makes doing the show so enjoyable.

“I think it’s the exhilaration of seeing it put together, the final curtain call and seeing all those kids shine,” Polakowski said. “That’s the reason why I do it.”

For the girls involved with the school and the program, dancing has been a way of life since they were old enough to walk.

Ireland Ingram, 15, Seoyoung Hung, 14 and Karmyn Polakowski, 14, have been dancing since they were toddlers and the desire to continue dancing keeps them coming back.

“I love coming,” Ingram said. “I can’t imagine not coming up here everyday and dancing.”

For Hung, she enjoys the feeling of being on stage, as well as having an after-school activity.

“I really don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t dance,” Hung said. “I don’t know what I would do every day after school if I didn’t dance. You have to be very dedicated.”

Polakowski said she likes to dance because of the people, as well as doing it for a hobby.

“It’s the only hobby I’ve really been able to get connected to and stay in it,” she said.

While the girls are uncertain about whether or not they’d want to pursue dancing as a career, it’s definitely something they don’t plan on giving up anytime soon.

Donna Armistead is a dance teacher and has been teaching for over 40 years and owned and operated the Superior School of Dance from 1988 to 1999.

As far as dance goes, it’s been Armistead’s life.

“I can’t think of a time where I have wanted to do anything else besides dance and teach dance,” she said.

The segment of the show that Armistead is coordinating is somewhat tap-oriented. But the biggest challenge for her has been getting the girls into practice because of all the snow days schools have been getting.

“We actually missed a fair bit of rehearsal time, but that was the most stressful thing,” Armistead said.

The girls that are in Armistead’s segment are from her advanced class, which she said are a joy to work with.

“They’re fun and crazy,” she said. “And they crossover really well from ballet to tap. I’ve always encouraged my students to be well rounded because that makes them more employable.”

While parents will be filling up a lot seats at The Calumet Theatre, Armistead thinks the general public should come see the show because a lot of people don’t know the amount of performing arts talent there is in the area.

“They’ll get a chance to see what local kids can do,” she said.

“Life is an Open Book” opens Friday, May 17 and begins at 7 p.m. An additional performance is May 18 at 2 p.m. Tickets for adults are $12 and tickets for seniors and students are $6.