NORWICH – It's been a busy summer for students at The Perkins School of the Arts in Norwich, where dancers with a commendable sense of perseverance and dedication are putting in hours of practice time; sweating it out on the second story hardwood floors that have become home to a close-knit family of performers.
On any given day throughout the week, it's not uncommon to hear the sounds of vocal instruction talking over performance music as cars stop at the four-way intersection of Birdsall and Front Streets in the city's sixth ward.
“We have kids from throughout the U.S. come to us for summer intensives, they come from Ohio and New Jersey, California – all over the place,” said Instructor and Choreographer Mikey Perkins, “We've been crazy busy.”
The Perkins School of the Arts serves as an enticing alternative to other dance schools that offer summer workshops because of its emphasis on Modern dance, Stretch and Strength exercises and flexible class schedules. According to Perkins, many other schools teach everything “from tap and ballet to jazz,” which many dancers simply aren't interested in.
The hard work is paying off. In May, four of the Perkins School dancers won solo events in four divisions at a American Dance Awards regionals competition that was held at the Anderson Center in Binghamton.
“That was pretty awesome for us, we're very proud of their efforts,” said Perkins.
More recently, 28 of Perkins’ pupils traveled to Orlando, FL to compete in the Candance North American dance competition.
According to Perkins, Candance is one of the largest national competitions on the continent. While technically a Canadian competition, Candance tours the United States and sets up a series of about five nation-wide events, yielding nearly 2,000 entries...