At the May 15 dress rehearsal for a show in the City of Santa Clara’s Parks and Recreation Department’s Spring Dance Recital, young dancers showed their flair for movement set to music.
For example, students in Acro I and II did high energy cartwheels and back bends to “One Jump.” Tap dancers from Ballet and Tap II gracefully fast shuffled their way across stage to “If My Friends Could See Me Now.” Hip Hop I dancers bounced high to “Cruella de Vil.”
Dance instructors Linnea Sheehy and Kimberly Davey led over 500 students, both adults and youth, in eight shows in the Spring Dance Recital held on May 18 and May 19.
“The dance recital began as a way to show the parents what the dancers have been learning throughout the school year; because this is a recreation environment, it’s about having fun,” said Sheehy, who led this particular dress rehearsal, at the Community Recreation Center. “I love the theme this year. I chose it. It’s called ‘Once Upon a Time’ and it’s based on stories and books with happy endings. Our set this year shows a background with a giant storybook.”
According to Sheehy, this is her 25th Spring Dance Recital.
“The recital has evolved over these 25 years,” she said. “We used to hold these outside in the pavilion by the duck pond and the parents would watch their kids perform over a picnic. The kids wouldn’t have costumes. It was very low key and it has evolved into more of a dance studio kind of an event. The community wanted something more substantial.”
Sheehy has been a dance instructor with Santa Clara’s Parks and Recreation Department since 1994. Many of her students refer to her as “Miss Linnea.”
“I was fortunate to find a ‘Dance Teacher Needed sign’ at the Dance Department at San Jose State where I studied Business Administration with a minor in Dance,” Sheehy said. “I applied for it and I was hired on the spot.”
Sheehy grew up dancing at a studio in Bakersfield called Princess Dance Studio where she studied ballet, tumbling, tap and jazz.
“I was enrolled at a studio that welcomed everybody,” Sheehy recalled. “Our recitals were set up like a musical theater play. One dance would be about the roses. Another dance would be about the monkeys.”
While the May 15 dress rehearsal didn’t advertise roses or monkeys, it starred genies, puppies, princesses, jungle animals, Broadway stars and dalmatians, all dancing their way to endings of happily ever after.