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Photos: Drewitz School of Dance celebrates 41 years

Two Danspirations … What a Feeling recitals drew a full house to the Estevan Comprehensive School's cafetorium.

ESTEVAN — The Drewitz School of Dance held its 41st annual Spotlight on the Stars recital on Saturday, showcasing the talents of its students in performances that left audiences inspired and impressed.

Two Danspirations … What a Feeling recitals drew a full house to the Estevan Comprehensive School's cafetorium, and they were a celebration of another successful year for dance school director and teacher Lorie-Gay Drewitz-Gallaway, staff, volunteers, and of course, students and their families.

Drewitz-Gallaway reflected on the event, noting that the theme emphasized the importance of expression in dance, particularly in the context of the challenges faced by students during and after the pandemic.

"The recital was so amazing. It really did run very smoothly, and the students danced beautifully. … They gave it their all," Drewitz-Gallaway said. "We had a wonderful turnout for both shows and great support from the community. The weather also co-operated, making the cafetorium and backstage comfortable for everyone."

Drewitz-Gallaway elaborated on the recital's theme, explaining its significance to the dancers' development and also for her personally.

"It was important for the dancers to express themselves through their musicality and dancing. When you're little, you express yourself through the joy of dance. But as you progress, your feelings come through on stage, your passion for dance, and how you communicate to your fellow dancers and the audience, all shine more," Drewitz-Gallaway said. "I have found expressing your feelings, whether they be happiness or being gracious or passionate, is a way for students to let out their own personal feelings as well. So, I was so happy for them this weekend, as I feel they took this to heart when I explained about the theme, and they work so hard to take their dancing to the next performance level."

The event was not only a celebration of dance but also a testament to the resilience and growth of the students. Drewitz-Gallaway noted the emotional journey many dancers experienced.

"When students came back into the real dance world [after the pandemic], there was still that wall built up a bit. My goal this year was to break through that and get them feeling good about themselves and good about life​​. And I was just so pleased [with the results they showed on stage]," she said.

A highlight of the recital was the last performance – What a Feeling from the movie Flashdance – performed by the senior jazz group, which held special meaning for Drewitz-Gallaway.

"The very first recital 41 years ago, when I first opened the dance studio, and we had about 86 students the first year because I was new. … That was the piece of music and the number I used in my solo. Everything old is new again," Drewitz-Gallaway said. "[That dance] was very inspiring at the end.

"And students took it to the next level on the evening performance, they started singing some parts of it, and they never told me they were going to, but they were just on such a cloud nine, so inspired by the end that they were just doing more reaching out of the box and doing their dancing from the heart. And I always tell them, 'If you dance from the heart, the feet will follow.' And they did it."

Drewitz-Gallaway praised the dedication and hard work of the students, noting that many of them are involved in multiple classes and went through many exams.

"The students always dance and support community events like the United Way [Telethon], Robbie Burns Night, St. Patrick's Day Dance Out, just to name a few. … This year, they completed over 400 exams and medals in various dance disciplines. It's a testament to their dedication and passion for dance."

The Spotlight on the Stars recital once again highlighted the Drewitz School of Dance's commitment to fostering artistic expression and personal growth through dance. With another successful year concluded, the school looks forward to continuing its tradition of excellence in dance education.

Drewitz-Gallaway said the year was very different for her since she had a complete changeover in her assistant teachers. Kayla Lafrentz and Emma Such both were part-time assistant teachers. She also had 20 helpers, all of whom were Grade 6 and up students with very high-level marks from exams. While students are a significant help to teachers, they also learn a lot from assisting other children in their journey, Drewitz-Gallaway said.

She also thanked her staff and everyone involved with making the recital a success.

"Thank you to my staff Jamie Lainton, Kari Kuntz and Kathy Marsh. Also, assistant teachers Kayla Lafrentz and Emma Such, all the helpers, volunteers and sponsors. And Dave Rosenbaum for the beautiful backdrop sponsored by DMS," Drewitz-Gallaway said.

The dance school will take a break for the summer, and the new student registration will take place on Aug. 28. For more information, check out their website at and follow them on social media.

For more recital and backstage pictures reach out to Starr Mercer Photography.