Today

No time to write for the next day or so… here’s the article that was in the Collegian today!

Dancers to perform in benefit concert
If you go
What: PA Academy of the Arts “Broadway Connection” performance and a “Jazz and Tap Jam Party” after the performance.
When: 7:30 p.m. tomorrow
Where: Mt. Nittany Middle School and SoZo, 256 E. Beaver Ave.
Details: $12 for children 13 and under and Penn State students and $15 for the general public

By Stacey Federoff
Collegian Staff Writer

Dancers moving together on stage this weekend hope to inspire audience members to move for their wallets at a benefit concert for the Four Diamonds Fund.

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts will feature guest artist Roxane Butterfly in the school’s Broadway Connection performance at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at Mt. Nittany Middle School, 656 Brandywine Drive.

Sarah Mason, founder of the academy, artistic director and soloist in the concert, said Butterfly, who performs in an improvisational style and will dance along with two musicians on stage, is one of the top tap dancers in the world.

Mason, also a native of Chicago and professional dancer, said she wanted to invite talented performers such as Butterfly to encourage students to attend the performance.

“I’m trying desperately to bring some of the international tap scene from the city to Central Pennsylvania,” she said.

Three PA Academy of the Arts ensembles and another soloist will also perform, including nine students from ages 11 to 20.

Mason said Butterfly will teach three master classes this weekend, including a beginner and intermediate class, to students of the school.

Rebekah Cattell, 19, of State College, is a student of the school and said she plans on taking all three classes from Butterfly, “just for the sake of learning.”

Cattell said the performance will provide a few different styles of dance, but will focus mainly on tap.

Mason, a dancer who has shared the stage with noted tap dancers such as Gregory Hines and Savion Glover, said her background contributes to the styles of dance offered at the academy.

After the performance, a “jazz and tap jam party” will be held at SoZo, 256 E. Beaver Ave., where dancers from around the area will have the chance to show off their skills backed by live musicians.

Mason said the jam session will allow students to have an opportunity to dance with Butterfly.

“There are some university students who were going to take a bus trip to see Roxane,” Mason said. “They can now bring their tap shoes and participate in a tap jam session with her.”

Mason said the academy is holding the event to give money to the Four Diamonds Fund. Since the school opened in 2003, Mason said she has tried to teach the students to use their gifts to benefit others.

“We’re hoping to do more than just dance,” she said.

Cattell, who plans to attend the “tap jam,” said she is nervous about getting the chance to perform with Butterfly, but will be glad to be there with other dancers.

“That’s the most amazing atmosphere, to be there,” she said. “It’s nervous, but we’re all going to be there and cheering each other on.”

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