Kris Cangelosi keeps a close eye on the kid-filled audiences when the Cangelosi Dance Project’s Elite Select youth company makes its annual summer tour of local libraries.
The kids are so mesmerized by the dancers they start emulating the dance moves during the performance. And Cangelosi makes mental notes of their movements so she can use them in the final portion of the program, when dancers invite their audience to the dance floor.
“We always bring the kids up at the end and teach them some of our dance moves,” Cangelosi says. “The movements they’re interested in during the show are the movements we try to teach them in the end.”
Leslie Stevens, 10, says the company benefits from the tour as much as its audiences.
“We’re doing something we love,” she says. “When I’m rehearsing and performing, I forget everything that happened up until that time. I just think about dancing. It’s what I love.”
And Cangelosi hopes the library audiences will share that love, maybe even learning to dance, themselves.
“Our program feels the importance in entertaining children in an education location so their appreciation in the performing arts is genuine,” she says. “The company has performed for the East Baton Rouge library system for over 10 years as an outreach and complimentary service to the community. We drive a lot miles during the week on our own time but are happy to say we left each library happier and enriched more lives.”