The silly and comedic holiday hit “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” was enacted through an interpretative dance during the Dec. 15 dress rehearsal of The Joy of Dancing (www.thejoyofdancingsanjose.com, 1030 Piedmont Road Suite I, San Jose) dance school’s Holiday Extravaganza, held at the Santa Clara Convention Center. The scene of young dancers in reindeer antlers energetically tap dancing past a fallen “grandmother” was an eye opener for the two-show performance, which ran on Dec. 16.
“It’s our holiday production for the dance studio,” Nicki Day, The Joy of Dancing director and owner, said of the show’s cast. “About 75 students are dancing. Most of the dancers are children and a group of adults are dancing. Most of my young dancers are in the age range of four to 25, plus there are my adult dancers. I have a student who’s 80 years old.”
The Holiday Extravaganza showcased many styles of dance taught at the school. The rehearsal included ballet dancers, such as the frolicking “Mother Cookie” (Danielle Zuger) and her gingerbread children, the smooth “Coffee from Arabia” (Emma Everett, 16) accompanied by her attendant (Lloyd Alaban), and those in the gracefully performed “Winter Wonderland Dream”—Snow Queen (Janine Bugayong, 16), Clara (Kayla Thompson, 13) and the dancers portraying snow. Highlights also included a jovial jazz dance for “A Kid at Christmas,” lively hip hop dances in the “Sleigh Bells Remix” and “Holiday Remix” and, comprised of adult dancers, a calming tap dance to “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.”
Charles Solomon, instructor at The Joy of Dancing, spent a lot of time enhancing the dancers’ costumes. He explained that he didn’t have to construct the costumes from scratch. Rather, he worked on specialty costumes.
“I start with a plain base and go to the fabric store and see what kind of appliques I can find to match a costume,” Solomon said. “I use a strong glue to fix the sequins and rhinestones on the costumes. I have to put the fabric appliques on first. After that, it’s putting the rhinestone on one by one in a design of some sort. This year, I put on close to 500 sequins and rhinestones on the costumes and shoes.”
According to Day, the Joy of Dancing was founded by the late Joy Sinnott. The dance school is 41 years old.
“Miss Joy started her studio in her garage, and the school outgrew her garage so she moved to the school’s first location in San Jose,” Day said. “And then the studio grew and we moved to the location right next to it. Then later we moved to a third location in a shopping center. Then we moved to the location where we are now going on 18 years. I’ve been with the studio since I was four years old and I grew up to teach classes. When Miss Joy retired, I bought out the business and have been the owner for 11 years. The studio has been a part of my life for 36 years. I have 400 students who come to The Joy of Dancing.”