Post written by Mary Elizabeth Lenahan, MS, OT Artistic & Executive Director of Dance Express
Sharing insight into the Dance Express’ History
February 25, 2019, Dance Express celebrated its 30th Anniversary in Fort Collins at the Lincoln Center Columbine Room and Magnolia Theatre. Serving the arts and non-profit communities and joyfully sharing the creativity and dance talents of persons with Down syndrome and/or other developmental disabilities, Dance Express can be proud of its community contributions.
Board member, Colleen DelMonte, chaired the celebration committee and succeeded in creating a fabulous reception for the community. John Kefalas, newly-elected Larimer County Commissioner; Jim McDonald, Fort Collins Cultural Director; Mark Rosoff, visionary for the establishment of Dance Express; and Lois Douthit, the original president of the Dance Express board of directors, joined other guests to speak and honor the commitment and artistry of dancers, volunteers, board, staff, and community over the years.
Besides fabulous food catered by the Farmhouse at Jessup Farm, photo opportunities from Lori Jackson of Jaxon Pics, and videography by Rowan Media, there were displays on exhibit during the reception. Thanks to Colleen and a few of her friends, board members, dancers and support personnel, each dancer made a tri-fold board expressing the influence Dance Express has had in each one’s life. Photos, memorabilia, and answers to questions, such as favorite performances or interesting personal facts, brought to life insights about the dancers. Though the boards could not be displayed in the FCMOD Archive exhibit, they were displayed once more at STUDIO CONCERT ’19 at the Fort Collins Senior Center Prairie Sage Stage in May.
A special highlight of the 30th Anniversary was the collaborative guest dance performance with Boltz Middle School students at the matinee and evening shows. Sincere gratitude goes to Boltz principal, Brett Larsen, for supporting the shared vision of teacher Melissa Claeys and artistic director Mary Elizabeth Lenahan for Boltz youth to work with the dance company.
Dancer Tamara, who has been with the company since Dance Express started, visited the company’s historical display at the Archive at Fort Collins Museum of Discovery and spent well over an hour exploring the pictures and enjoying the memories being shared. Though the exhibit is no longer on view, most materials that were on display are still available for perusal and research in the special collections at the Archive.
THANK YOU Fort Collins and ALL beyond our region who have blessed us with their recognition of the value Dance Express provides.
View photos of the 30th Anniversary Reception at: https://www.jaxonpics.com/p792532098