Amber Perkins’ dancers burst onto Norwich stage in ‘08 recital

NORWICH - Boom! An explosion of great force. Boom! The thumping of sub-woofers from a souped up Mustang. Boom! The startling noise of the Bat Mobile smashing through a brick wall...

Boom! It’s the Amber Perkins School of the Arts bursting into its second decade.

More than 100 new students will join New York’s most acclaimed amateur performing arts school next weekend for the 11th annual recital June 13-15 in the Norwich High School Auditorium on Midland Drive. A fast paced show, Boom! promises energetic partnering, rhythmic tap, pop music, classical music, tumbling and hip-hop all accented with the subtle, over the top elegance for which the Amber Perkins School of the Arts is known.

Award winning dancers and their choreographers hailing from 20 different school districts and three different states simply catapults the studio - and the greater Norwich arts community - onto an entirely new playing field, choreographer, teacher and sister to Amber, Michael Perkins said.

An upcoming feature on the studio in “Dance Studio Life” attests to that, as people from all over the United States are readily equating Norwich to dance.

“In an age where football players dance ballroom on television and You-Tube is blowing up with dance videos, people are into dance,” said Perkins. “Even it its not your thing, dance has become pop culture. It has crept into prime time, onto commercials and almost every magazine these days has a dance selling everything from film to underwear.”

With the addition of a new studio in Vestal, Perkins’ student enrollment has grown and her teaching staff has reflected that growth as well. Teachers from Philadelphia, Manhattan and New Haven, Conn. regularly make the trip to Birdsall Street in Norwich to teach classes.

“Though Norwich is small, we are committed to get the best teachers available regardless of distance,” studio director Amber Perkins said.

Long known for its modern dance curriculum, Perkins turned to tap teacher Stacy Eastman from New Haven, a past Ms. Dance of America and choreographer of the United States Tap Team. Eastman has deepened the students’ knowledge and skill of tap, Perkins said.

Boom! With one word, the school is breaking barriers, blowing up previous assumptions, and laying out a new set of plans. But according to the Perkins, the studio has maintained its commitment to the City of Norwich and will continue its pride and what they call “a cultural renaissance” developing within the community.

This summer, students from as far away as Arizona, Minnesota and Ontario will come to Chenango County and Norwich’s Birdsall Street to study dance during Perkin’s rapidly growing summer workshop program.

“This year we have a student from West Newberry, Massachusetts (outside of Boston) enrolled in our weekly classes. She has gelled with our students as if she grew up a Purple tornado her whole life,” said Amber. “We pick her up at the bus station and off she goes to class.”

“Boom! is not only Amber, Boom! is not only Norwich, Boom! is not dance or art. Boom! is the experience,” Mikey said. “Don’t miss the explosion!”

The action takes place at 7 p.m. Friday, June 13, at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, June 14 and at 1 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available at the Norwich and Vestal Studios, First Edition Book Store and Service Pharmacy in Norwich and Bartle’s Pharmacy in Oxford.

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