The Laramie Dance and Arts Center will celebrate a year of growth this weekend with its free Immortal Masquerade Recital set for 2 p.m. Saturday at the Laramie High School Auditorium.

“We’re very proud to present our annual recital for free – we want everyone to come and enjoy our hard working students and what they have accomplished this year,” says Levi Hime, owner of Laramie Dance & Arts Center.

Levi and Kati Hime have been leading the center since June 2014, transforming it into a school focused on a love of movement and the arts.

“Our diverse class offering is one of the things we’re very proud of,” says Hime. In addition to the acts set to perform Saturday, the center also offers country swing, Snowy Range Music Together, Snowy Range Taekwondo, private music lessons, Japanese lessons, ‘baby and me’ classes, fitness classes and House of Pounce bounce houses. Kevin Bretting also puts on his Lindy Hop and Shim Sham classes at the center.

After winning a lawsuit over the Laramie Dance Center’s previous location in downtown Laramie, the Laramie Dance and Arts Center acquired the former Kalcon Electric building at 120 E. Lyon St. The new location began operating in November, with House of Pounce open hours and birthday parties added to the lineup around Christmas.

The Himes plan to add a new active gear store, LKH & Company, to the location this summer. The new store will feature dance apparel and shoes, gymnastics and figure skating gear along with yoga and sports equipment.

The past year also saw dance instructor Jordyn Brummond create and produce the Wood Fairy Ballet with the help of instructors Stephanie Young and Sierra Johnson. Jordyn’s mother, Beth, made the costumes by hand. Students rehearsed diligently from September to the performance in December. The studio donated a portion of ticket sales to non-profit groups throughout Laramie.

“The non-profits in town were very positive, and we had a wonderful turnout,” says Hime. “We are so proud of Jordyn, Stephanie and Sierra of all their hard work – it was a beautiful production. Our dancers really shined. They worked so hard.”
The studio also organized performances for Freedom Has a Birthday, farmers markets, arts in the park, Zonta Masquerade Ball, the UW Art Museum tree event, Mountain Women Belly Dance Hafla and several events for St. Patrick’s Day. A standing-room-only audience watched the studio’s own company night, Spirit of Spring 2016. The Laramie Valley Dancers, the studio’s free student performance company, volunteered to assist with Laramie Soccer Association and Special Olympics Wyoming events.

Six students won first place and a Judge’s Choice award for ‘perfect professionalism under fire’ in April at their first competition in Denver. As the students performed a contemporary piece choreographed by instructor Aubree Jones, the music stopped. The group danced on without missing a beat, to roars of approval from the audience.

“We held our breath the whole time,” says Hime. “We couldn’t believe how well they did with such a moment of adversity.”

The studio looks forward to another busy year as the new cheerleading and dance team program continues to grow and work continues on new productions. The new cheer program will host a parent June 7 at 6 p.m. at the Laramie Dance and Arts Center, 120 E. Lyon St. Summer programming begins June 13.

For more information, call the dance center at 742-6767 or visit laramiedancecenter.com.