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April 20, 2014
Olympics beckon young dancers to Britain

Thirty-one dancers from the Glen Dance Studio performance companies, comprised of dancers aged 8 to 15 years, and a selection of the studio’s teachers will perform together in London, to entertain visitors to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in the prestigious English Arts Festival, an invitational three week dance exhibition organized by the American Alliance of Performing Arts Educators (AAPAE).

Over 1,200 dancers will participate in the Festival, including dancers from America, Russia, India, Mexico and the United Kingdom. The largest foreign contingent will be American with 120 dance troupes participating.

Glen Dance Studio is the only company from Long Island, New York and the tri-state area participating in the festival. The group will perform a repertoire of ballet, lyrical, and jazz dances in two separate half-hour shows. On August 11, their performance will take place at the 1,000 year old Warwick Castle located in the Cotswolds in the English countryside; and on August 12th in London, at Island Gardens, a Victorian era park, directly across Greenwich (by tunnel footpath) on the Thames River, in the Olympic Borough of Tower Hamlets, where the Olympian Equestrian events will be held.

Among the pieces to be showcased, is a poignant 9/11 ballet choreographed to “Heaven,” a song written and remixed by Sammy and Yanou for the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

According to Kim Leary, the Group’s Director, “The dance was created in honorable memory to give hope to the children of 9/11 -- that their dads or moms who perished on that day, may still be a part of their lives, guarding over them from heaven.”

When Leary heard the song on the radio, she was brought to tears. “It hit me on two levels. I felt all the emotions of fear, sadness and desperation from 10 years before, but it also got to me on a very personal level. I lost my dad six months before my wedding. In the song, a girl asks her dad if he will be there at her wedding when she walks down the aisle. I have to believe my dad was there for me.”

Leary knew if she could put a visual of a little girl growing up with this powerful song, the result would be very moving, especially to her community of New Yorkers, who may have lost relatives in the tragedy.

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