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The Perrysburg Academy of the Performing Arts is sending 20 girls from the ages of 7 to 17 to Cedar Point today to get dance instructions from professional choreographers during the day and then perform for park-goers at night.
The students have no idea what routine they will be performing. Cedar Point’s choreographers will practice with them during a "dance master class” from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Even without knowing the routine, the students’ performance in front of a Cedar Point crowd doesn’t have them rattled.
“We’re pretty good at learning new routines in a short time, so we’re used to it," said Makynzie Horvath, 17, the oldest trouper.
A few years ago Makynzie and 15-year-old Rylee Williams went with the academy to perform at Disney World. The Cedar Point show, Makynzie said, will be her second biggest performance after the show at the theme park in Orlando, Fla.
“We try to do what we can to keep dancing fun,” said Vicki Hartkopf, president of the Perrysburg Academy of the Performing Arts, 156 West South Boundary St.
“They are excited,” Ms. Hartkopf said. “It is good to do things like this to develop camaraderie among them; to be like one happy family.”
Many of the girls have only danced ballet. The Cedar Point performance will feature hip-hop.
Nine-year-old Sophie Turk said she is not too nervous because she has performed in a few competitions. Mostly, she is excited about going on her first trip to Cedar Point and learning hip-hop techniques.
Emilia Hartkopf, who used to dance with the Cleveland Cavalier Girls, is working with the group to bring them up to speed with hip-hop. She has spent the last few weeks helping them prepare for a hip-hop routine.
“We’ve done basic hip-hop moves and beginner things,” she said. “They can do it — they learn routines in a day. It is really good that they are learning from a different teacher. Dancers need different teachers to become better because they have different choreographs and techniques.”
Ms. Hartkopf received an email in the spring from Cedar Point inquiring if they were interested in doing the performance and the class. The amusement park's choreographers watched several of the academy’s videos on YouTube.com to confirm they were good enough to participate, she said.
Maiya Combest, 7, is really excited to go on the Millennium Force roller coaster. She is also really nervous about her first show in front of such a large crowd.
At 9 p.m. today the 20 dancers will be on stage at Cedar Point to perform their routine. A Cedar Point light show called Luminosity , which includes dancing, music, and fireworks, begins after the routine.
“I’m really excited to dance there,” said Katelyn Petrie, 9. “It is going to be a big moment for me.”