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Committed to the dance at Strathmore studio

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Entertainment,Music,Marie Gullard

Where did the 2010 winner of the D.C. Mayor's Arts Award for Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education go next? In the case of CityDance, with its community programs located at 17 sites throughout the District and metropolitan area, the next stop along the road of commitment to training young dancers for professional careers came in 2011.

Now, less than a year after opening the CityDance Studio Theater at Strathmore,, the hard-working faculty of dance instructors and choreographers will showcase their pieces in "Fresh Visions: Under One Umbrella" on Saturday and Sunday.

"There are 17 faculty and staff performers along with two guest artists in the show," noted Sarah Ewing, the school manager at Strathmore. "We will have hip-hop, classical and contemporary [dances.]"

Ewing, who recently performed at the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, is particularly excited about her original choreographed piece performed to a poem composed and read by CityDance Director of Marketing and Communications Julie Gerdes-Becnel titled "After We Drowned and Before I Looked Back."

Onstage
CityDance Faculty
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Where: Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda
» When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3:00 p.m. Sunday
» Info: $15; 202-581-5100; citydance.net

"This piece is about the time between when something happens and when you can look back at it as an experience," Ewing explained. "This is a memory, and how you got to that point, rather than in the moment."

In addition to CityDance's studios at Strathmore, the Center at DC Dance Collective and the Madeira School in McLean, the company works in private, public and charter schools, providing free performances, afterschool programs and summer camps to more than 15,000 students a year in the region's most underresourced neighborhoods and schools. The faculty and staff, according to Ewing, have both a collaborative relationship and now, at Strathmore, an amazing place to work and to perform their own works from time to time.

"This show was brought to life as a result of a strong internal organization of passionate dance faculty, as well as the utmost support by CityDance's executive director, Alexe Nowakowski," said Ewing. "The faculty is creating, working and learning from one another to present an exceptional showcase of talent and art."

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