Who: Dakota Weeda is in his sixth year as the director of Terpsichorean Dance Studio, hosting the 16th annual Central Oregon Dance Showcase at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Tower Theatre, 835 NW Wall St., Bend. The showcase features dancers from Bend, Redmond and elsewhere around Central Oregon, including performers from Sunriver Dance Academy, Lost and Found Bellydance, Jazz Dance Collective and many more. Tickets are $18-$20 plus fees at towertheatre.org.
Q: Schools have recitals for their own students, but Terpsichorean opens the Showcase up to everyone, correct?
A: We have our own stuff that we do as well, (but) this one’s purpose really is to share the love of dance that we all have. Working in the performing arts as a teacher or an owner, or even from a parent’s perspective, it takes a lot of time and it’s not easy. It’s definitely something that you have to love to do. And we all do, so why not get together and share all of that with each other. … All of the groups are returning groups. Since the last show, there’s only one new dance studio or group that has come up in Central Oregon, and they weren’t able to attend this year. Everyone else, this is at least their second year. Some have been there from the first one, or the second or third, so they’re veterans at what we’re doing.
Q: How many organizations are going to be involved? A: This year it looks like we’ve got 14 different companies, and each company — a couple are only bringing a single routine. But the rest are bringing two to three. That’s a big change. … It used to be that we just brought one from each company, and part of that too is that Central Oregon has consolidated a bit over the last few years. There used to be more studios and smaller groups. It’s debatable as to why there are less now, but there are less, and they tend to be bigger. So they bring more routines. That’s a nice opportunity, too, because it’s hard to fit everything into one dance routine (laughs). … We’re doing only one show this year. Last year we did a matinee and an evening — this year we’re just doing an evening. It will be a sold-out show — just the best friends and families of all the performers will fill up the Tower.
Q: How many students do you have at Terpsichorean?
A: We have around 250. That seems like kind of the median number for the studios that are our size. With every studio, the amount of students can vary greatly depending on what they’re doing. Some are smaller just simply because of the space they have, or their expertises require more one-on-one … it just depends. … This is our 44th year of operation. We are the oldest dance studio in Central Oregon. … Yeah, 1975 is when we started, been consistent, nonstop every year. But I took over in 2013 — 2014 was the first recital that I managed.
Q: Did you grow up dancing there?
A: Yeah, I grew up at Terpsichorean. I started real young. Both of my older sisters danced from the time they were 5 or 6, and then when I got to that age it was just a natural progression. I took classes in everything, did stuff in the community. When I got to high school age, I became an assistant teacher, and then a regular teacher. I just kind of worked my way up the ranks. By the time I took over the studio, I was teaching a good 14 classes per week. There were times I was teaching at other studios. All of those relationships ended well. Part of why the showcases have still been going on is that those bridges have all kept intact.
Q: Do your sisters still dance?
A: Yeah, my sisters do — well, one of them does. They both have been instructors at different times in their lives. One of them still teaches. She’s our modern director, which is one of our most successful programs.
— David Jasper, The Bulletin