Alma’s Attic: Retirement performance

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Phoebe Hughel, Staff Writer

April 14, 2018 at 6:30 p.m., Dancer’s Studio Inc. presented Alma’s Attic. This performance was in celebration of Alma Wiley’s retirement after 27 years of teaching ballet. The entire show consisted of Wiley’s choreography from all of the years she created choreography. Between each dance, Wiley did something she would never normally do, she explained what she was thinking creating each of these dances. After many years of not being on stage, Alma took her final moment and danced in the finale with all of her other dancers.

The entire show was about three hours long and consisted mostly of modern dancing. Besides the modern dances, Wiley explained to the audience what happens back stage with costume changes. She had two students (Alexander Holloway and Beth Van Devender) come onto the stage in their full costumes. Wiley brought Suzanna Lipinski, who makes the costumes for the dancers, on stage, and had the “changing monkeys” come onstage as well. Lipinski and the “changing monkeys” competed against each other to see who could change the dancers the fastest. The winner of the changing contest was Lipinski.

After the performance, some of the dancers were crying. This was a happy, but also sad moment for the dancers. Their ballet director, who they have known since they were younger, is now no longer in charge. While they do know the new director, it will never have that special touch that Alma Wiley always brought to the table. Cassidy Klave, who has been dancing for Alma for five years said, “Alma has overall been one of my biggest inspirations and supported throughout my years at Dancer’s Studio. She has always been the one to tell me that I was improving and made me feel like I belonged there. Alma means so much to me and I don’t know if I would be dancing and overall the person I am without her.”

There have been a few new dancers added to the studio this year. Even though they have not been with Wiley for very long, they still feel they have a close connection with her. Andrea Contreras is in her first year at Dancer’s Studio. She says, “When I think of Dancer’s Studio, I think of a place where I fit in, because at my old studio it was all too much, but here its so much nicer and it makes me feel at home.”

Even though this is Wiley’s last performance, her choreography will always be remembered by the studio.