Dancers in the park

Dancers jumped, spun, and flew across the open-air stage in Roanoke Park at the nineteenth annual Kansas City Dance in the Park event. Nine dance companies from the Kansas City area came together Saturday, Sept. 9 to perform for the community.

The event, which City in Motion Dance Theater hosts annually, is a free community performance with the goal of showcasing the unique cultures and dance styles of Kansas City.

Performances consisted of a variety of cultural dance styles, including contemporary, modern, ballet, hip hop, belly dancing, acrobatics, aerial, hula and many others.

Two UMKC conservatory students performed at the event.

Maria Hall and Cameron Miller showcased their piece, “A Boy and A Girl,” on the open-air stage. The dancers, who had been working on the piece since early spring, credit this opportunity to their choreographer, David Justin Holmes.

“This was an opportunity that we got because of David, so we were more than happy to perform the piece,” Hall said.

The piece also served as a tribute a retiring conservatory faculty member.

“David did this piece as a tribute to Marybeth Henry as a ‘thank you’ for letting him take the position,” Miller said.

In addition to Hall and Miller, other UMKC students performed in the show. UMKC conservatory singers accompanied the duo.

“It’s an honor to have a live choir. It’s just so magical having them there,” Hall said.

Overall, Hall and Miller expressed gratitude.

“Performances like this are so important for the community,” Miller said. “It’s usually the older generations that come out and support, so it’s good to see so many young people come out and enjoy the arts as well.”

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