This past weekend, hugs were given and puffy eyes cried at Nutmeg’s Dance and Theatre Company’s presentation of “Nutmeg’s At the Movies.”
May 5&6 from 7 p.m – 10 p.m. marked the day’s these dancers have been working eight months for: Nutmeg’s at the Movies.
Nutmeg’s Dance and Theatre Company is a non-competitive studio located in Southwick, MA, founded by Meg Fenton Funk or “Nutmeg” in 2003, with only 11 students and one teacher.
Now home to over 200 students and six teachers, this studio has become a second home to all every year from September through May.
Nutmeg’s At The Movies was the 14th annual production, held at Suffield High School in Suffield, CT. The theme of this show was based off of songs from different movies, classic and new, which were encompassed in many different styles of dance.
The Featured Dances
From an exquisite modern dance interpretation of The Ellie Badge from Up, a fun younger hip hop dance to Ghostbuster’s, and the parents tribute to their graduating seniors with their rendition of a Grease Medley, this years show was one for the books.
Most of the fan favorites every year are those performed by the older dancers, sophomore to seniors. African, modern, ballet, and of course hip hop are all included in this category, placed last to leave the audience in anticipation.
This years African Dance, Trini Dem Girls, featured the seniors for one of their last performances on stage before they became a Nutmeg’s Alumni.
Not only was this dance a big hit, but it was choreographed by a Nutmeg’s Alumni herself, Alexis Rome, who is Nutmeg’s niece, and was pictured on the last slide.
The last of the show’s hit dances included Adult Hip Hop, performing Secret from the film Sleight, Hip Hop C performing Missy Mix from the film Step Up, and the all around favorite Hip Hop D class performing Hot Sauce from the film Beyonce: Live at Roseland Ballroom.
Nutmeg, who attended Marymount Manhattan College’s dance program, was also a scholarship student at Broadway Dance Center where her love and talent for hip hop grew, and is why it is such a large part of the studio and the excitement for the audience now.
But dancing isn’t the only thing that goes down on this stage.
14th Annual Scholarship Announcement
For 14 years, Nutmeg has proven that pursuing your passion isn’t over once you move on to college. Over the past 14 years, Nutmeg has raised over $16,000 awarding Nutmeg students who are moving on to pursue their passion for the arts.
This year, the recipients were more than qualified in their achievements. Bella DeLuca, the first recipient, will be attending none other than Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford in the Fall, pursuing her passion of art, “Art is a form of de-stressing for me. Going back and forth between going to school for something practical or pursuing my passion was difficult, but my passion for art won,” Bella claims.
The second recipient of the scholarship this year was Sabrina Hebert, who will be attending Saint Anselm College in the fall for vocal studies. Along with Bella, Sabrina found that her passion was more important than something traditional, “I have been singing since I was so little. It has always been there for me, something stable to get me through some of the most difficult times in my life,” she said.
Sabrina performed her zesty rendition of “What Baking Can Do” from the musical Waitress, as part of a surprise for the audience and to share her talent and passion for singing.
The scholarship has been an outlet of happiness and gratitude the Nutmeg feels. “Their passion for the arts and the cozy family environment of the studio has always been something that has driven these kids, and myself, throughout the years,” She explained with the smile never leaving her face. The kids find the studio as an outlet, something they may not find elsewhere.
Sharing the Love
Although the show was not sold out on either occasion, this auditorium seats over 800 people, in which case most seats were taken. The amount of love felt in that room for all who participated was overwhelming and emotional.
At the beginning of each show, there is a special viewing of a slideshow produced from the teachers to encompass all of the laughs, smiles, falls, and hugs that have occurred throughout their eight months at the studio. The cast members get a preview performance on Friday night, before the doors open to the public, in which many tears were shed.
You could feel the energy in the room shift from nerves to absolute bliss at the vision of their year in review. Smiles, laughs and red stained eyes were seen and spread throughout the over 200 girls who will look upon the summer with bittersweet feelings.
But if the students are extra sad, the fun never ends as Nutmeg provides summer classes to those who can’t stand to be without it!