Utah dancers taking stage

Published: Friday, Aug. 22 2008 12:14 a.m. MDT

"Dancing With the Stars" veteran Louis van Amstel says the upcoming "Dancing Under the Stars" performance at the SCERA Outdoor Theatre tonight and Saturday features familiar faces in the world of televised dance.

The performers? Gev Manoukian, Chelsie Hightower, and Matt Dorame from "So You Think You Can Dance"; Hefa Tuita from "High School Musical 3" and "Dance on Sunset"; Ashly DelGrosso and van Amstel from "Dancing With the Stars" and Jason Celaya from the Broadway show "Altar Boys."

"And what is the great thing about it is the fact that they are all live in Utah," van Amstel said.

Originally, the performances were suppose to be built around a new dance company formed by van Amstel, who moved to Orem a couple of years ago.

"We had everything ready except for some funding that we are still waiting for," he said. "So, we decided to still have a night of dance and feature these wonderfully talented Utah dancers."

Van Amstel said the new dance company will be ready for its debut in 2009.

Meanwhile, "this performance will be an exciting night of dance," said van Amstel, who will be host and also interact with the crowd by using a microphone."

In addition to the more well-known dancers, the shows will feature the companies of Orem's Center Stage Performing Arts Studios.

"I was so surprised at the talent of dance here in Utah," van Amstel said. "I had no idea. Back in 2001, Ashly and Rick Robinson (who is now the artistic director for Vibe Productions) wanted me to coach them in their ballroom dancing. They kept asking me for five years. So, I finally said, 'Let's see what the dance scene is like in the mountains.' And I came every other month and then every month. Finally, I bought some property and moved out here.

"There is an amazing amount of dancing talent here, " he said. "And Utah can be proud of them. These performances will be a time for them to shine for their hometown crowd."

If you go

What: Dancing Under the Stars, Louis van Amstel, Chelsie Hightower, Gev Manoukian, etc.

Where: SCERA Outdoor Theatre, 699 S. State, Orem

When: today and Saturday, 8 p.m.

How much: $10-16

Phone: 801-255-2787

Web: www.scera.org


E-mail: scott@desnews.com

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