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Art of Motion Dancers Honored in Houston

 
 

Art of Motion dancers honored in Houston
By Special to the E-E
Friday, October 1, 2004 1:29 PM CDT

Shelly Beech, owner of Art of Motion Dance Studio, returned from the Texas Association Teachers of Dance’s annual summer convention, where her studio received some outstanding achievements.

Ashley Cooper, her student/assistant, was awarded honors for her talent in ballet; Beech’s two-year term on TATD’s Board of Directors was increased to three; and former Art of Motion student/assistant Jana Brown was appointed to the Board of Directors.

Beech will serve a three-year term, attending regular meetings in Texas to discuss matters regarding the association and planning its conventions. Duties such as hiring faculty, reviewing finances, and other convention details are board member’s responsibilities.

“This is quite an honor,” said Beech. “I’m excited about our mini-convention in Austin, Texas scheduled for October. Then there is all the planning for the 75th Diamond Jubilee. It will be the end of June in Richardson, Texas.” This is Beech’s seventh year as a member, and third year as an examiner for TATD.

Over 400 students were observed and considered for scholarships during the four days of classes. Technical ability, style, attendance, appearance and behavior were all considered during judging. Only four awards were presented in each discipline: tap, jazz, and ballet.

Cooper, a Bartlesville High School senior, was recognized as outstanding in ballet among the senior students. Last year she was one of four recognized in jazz. She plans to pursue a dance degree in college.

“I am so pleased that one of my students was acknowledged among such outstanding dancers,” said Beech. “This really is an award to be proud of.”

Jana Brown, a 1996 graduate of Bartlesville High School and 2000 Dance Management graduate from Oklahoma City University, is the newest member of TATD’s Board of Directors. Beech said, “Jana is part of the second generation of teachers coming from my studio. She is the director of dance education for Bill Austin in Houston, Texas. She is the perfect example of what one can achieve when they are dedicated.”

TATD is recognized as one of the nation’s leading teaching organizations. The association was organized April 27, 1930, in San Antonio, Texas with the aim to keep the art of dancing and the dance teaching profession on the highest level by upholding its ideals and principles and passing these principles on to the next generation of teachers. New members must be voted into the organization unanimously after passing an entrance exam and take an oath to uphold TATD’s code of ethics.

The 2004 convention was held June 27-30 in Houston, Texas at the Hyatt Hotel. Awards were announced at the Hollywood Ball and Banquet held on the final evening of the convention.

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Local Dancers Welcome Holiday Season

 

Local Dancers Welcome Holiday Season
By Special to the E-E
Friday, December 3, 2004 1:17 PM CST

Art of Motion Dance will present “Bartlesville’s Christmas Spectacular” at 7 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Bartlesville Community Center.

This fast-paced evening of dance promises something for everyone. The production was conceived and directed by Shelly Beech, owner and instructor of Art of Motion Dance.

“I know how much our dancers and the community look forward to what’s become a local tradition,” said Beech. “I’m thrilled with this year’s sixth annual presentation. It includes tap, jazz, lyrical, modern and ballet pieces. The show has grown so much that it’s hard to pick which pieces will rotate out to make room for the new.”

Each year numbers get re-staged, new costumes are created and new pieces are commissioned to keep the show exciting. Five new dances will make their debut in the 2004 Spectacular, including a spicy new finale that’s sure to set your holiday spirit in motion.

The audience can expect their perennial favorites like the Rockette style “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers,” as well as contemporary twists on a few classical numbers. The music selections read like a list of favorite holiday specials: “The Grinch,” “The Night Before Christmas,” “Rudolph” and “Frosty.”

If your looking for that magical holiday feeling, come experience an original holiday tribute with the Art of Motion Dancers. Everyone from the smallest Christmas tree to the man with the bag himself are anxious to share the joy and celebrate the season with “Bartlesville’s Christmas Spectacular.” For tickets call the Community Center Box Office at 336-2787.

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Wehmeyer Wins Scholarship

 

Wehmeyer Wins Scholarship

Friday, April 7, 2006 2:45 PM CDT

Special to the E-E

Hayden Wehmeyer, a 10-year-old dancer at Art of Motion Dance Studio, won a Tremaine Convention Scholarship recently.

Shelly Beech, Wehmeyer’s mother and owner/director at Art of Motion Dance Studio, traveled with nine of her dancers to attend the Tremaine Dance Convention in Tulsa over spring break.

“We never miss it,” says Beech. “It is one of the premiere conventions in the industry.”

Tremaine Dance Convention is based out of Hollywood, Calif., and is celebrating its 25th anniversary tour. Students take master classes in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop and lyrical throughout the weekend. The professional faculty includes Joe Tremaine, Doug Caldwell, Keith Clifton and many other professional choreographers from Los Angeles and New York.

Dancers are given the opportunity to audition for scholarships on the final day. Art of Motion Dancers that auditioned include: Heaven Fuller and Megan White in the Senior Division and Emily Newby and Hayden Wehmeyer in the Junior Division.

Auditioning dancers were first taught a ballet combination they performed in groups. The first cut eliminated over half of those who auditioned.

The remaining semifinalists were taught a jazz combination which was performed twice in groups of 12. A final cut was made.

Approximately 20 finalists, including Wehmeyer remained. The actual scholarship winners were not announced until the Faculty Show six hours later.

“When I heard Hayden’s name announced my immediate reaction was as his dance teacher, but when he went on stage to receive his award, the proud mom in me took over,” says Beech. “Studying with your mother isn’t always the easiest thing. This award is the outside recognition he needed. Someone other than ‘mom’ recognized his talent.”

The scholarship will allow Hayden to attend a Tremaine Dance Convention in any city during the next year, tuition free. This includes the opportunity to attend nationals in Orlando, Fla., this summer.

“I’m proud of all my students that put themselves on the line. Auditions can be very nerve wrecking. The more you do, the better your coping skills. Dancers learn to deal with the anxiety and butterflies that inevitably come with auditions,” says Beech. “I encourage students to approach auditions as a learning experience. Give it your best and learn the process. Don’t get hung up on winning; it’s too easy to lose focus. Then, win or lose, accept the results graciously and never give up.”

More 500 participants attended the convention from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Missouri. Local dancers included: Shelly Beech, Ashley Cooper, Hannah Divelbiss, Shelby Doyle, Bonnie and Sophie Fiore, Heaven Fuller, Emily Newby, Carrie Tillet, Hayden Wehmeyer and Megan White.

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Dance Studio Celebrates 20th

 

Dance studio celebrates 20th

Friday, May 19, 2006 3:13 PM CDT

Special to the E-E

What do you get when you combine traditional dance technique with innovative ideas? You get the dynamic recipe that’s made Art of Motion a two decade dance success.

Their 20th anniversary celebration will begin at 7 p.m. May 27 at the Bartlesville Community Center. “Art of Motion Celebrates Sweet Success!” includes ballet, tap, jazz and lyrical pieces choreographed by some of the dance industries leaders.

Founded in 1986, Art of Motion Dance is committed to providing a well-rounded dance education rooted in proper technique and terminology, according to Shelly Beech, owner/artistic director.

Originally, classes were held at the YWCA under the direction of Kaye Boone Baehr, who later moved the business into a vacated studio on Nowata Road. In 1991 Baehr hired Beech to manage and instruct at what was then Kaye’s School of Dance. The transition of ownership was so smooth, few realized it had happened until the 1994 production announced, “Art of Motion, A Picture Paints a Thousand Words.” Since then, the studio has continued to grow and prosper.

“In 1998 we outgrew our Nowata Road location. While searching for another suitable ‘home,’ it occurred to us that being Bartlesville’s leading dance educator, we needed to build,” says Beech. “Our students deserve a space designed specifically with their safety and comfort in mind. The contractors and designers were called and we are now the proud owners of a state of the art dance facility.

“We have two studios with sprung floors and professional dance surfaces. Full length mirrors across the front of classrooms allow dancers to check placement, additional mirrors above the ballet barres lets students ‘see’ behind them,” she says. “Observation windows are our parents favorite way to monitor dancer’s progress. The studio’s location is convenient to Hoover, Ranch Heights, Wayside, Madison and the Mid-High.”

Born in Enid, and raised in the Midwest, Beech’s training benefited from studying with many extraordinary dance instructors. At three, her first teacher was, Texie Jane Waterman who choreographed for the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders in Dallas, Texas. When her family moved back to Enid, Beech studied with her mother’s dance teacher, Elizabeth Shelley Williams. It proved to be five of her most impressionable years. Williams nurtured a love of dance and imprinted a successful style of teaching that Beech still uses today.

“I am the sum of many parts,” Beech says. “I studied with Bessie Caldwell, Della Riggs-Warren, Judy Mason-Henninger and Valentina Stein. Each teacher had her own strengths, be it music theatre, modern, even the classical training of Checetti. I took the best each had to give – never realizing someday I’d be passing it on to my own students.”

Beech was awarded dance scholarships to attend Oklahoma City University and the University of Oklahoma but chose to attend OU so she could also accept an art scholarship and pursue a double major in ballet and art. As fate would have it, Beech transferred to Oklahoma State University her sophomore year and graduated with her BFA in 1998.

After graduation she interned and later became the first female printer employed by Universal Limited Art Editions in New York City. While working on Manhattan’s art scene, Beech taught tap classes at Positions Dance Studio on Long Island with former Radio City Rockette Angela Mezzacappa.

“I’ve always loved the visual and performing arts. The name of my business reflects my love of both,” says Beech. “What is dance? It’s the ‘art of motion.’ Anyone entering the studio will immediately feel like they’ve entered a gallery. Oil paintings, collectable prints, New York dance posters decorate the walls along with photos of current and past students. My college diploma has a place of honor outside the office where all my students can see it. Numerous awards and certificates of merit are also displayed with pride.”

Beech says dancers learn young that with perseverance you succeed.

“Preschoolers learn their first day at the studio ‘can’t’ is not a word anyone is allowed to use,” she says. “‘I’ll try’ is the phrase of the day.”

Older students repeatedly hear that college degrees are worth the effort.

“We don’t talk about ‘if’ they go to college but ‘when’ they go to college,” says Beech. “Women can own their own business, have successful careers and raise a family. It’s all in the balance. Knowledge is power.”

In 1996 the studio worked with the Bartlesville Jaycees to produce a city-wide ballet workshop with the profits donated to Women and Children in Crisis.

Later that same year Art of Motion Dancers performed in the Downtown Kiwanis Club Entertainment Extravaganza to help the club raise money.

Art of Motion students and parents are frequently given literature from the Center for Missing and Exploited Children. This is Beech’s grassroots effort to educate and protect Bartlesville’s youth.

Most recently, the studio gathered dance supplies and sent them to a Biloxi, Miss., studio after Hurricane Katrina.

“In a world where good role models are hard to come by, I was lucky enough to work with outstanding women – impeccable ladies I wanted to pattern myself after. They shared much more than a love of dance. I learned life lessons that reached further than the four walls of a dance studio. I learned about strength, commitment and how a lady should always carry herself with pride and dignity,” she says. “My instructors’ professional and personal conduct influenced my own life choices. I want to make the same positive impact on my students. Teaching by example, I hope to influence generations of Bartlesville’s dancers.”

This year’s celebratory performance is sprinkled with sweet messages. From Eurythmic’s “Sweet Dreams” performed by the studio’s assistants to George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord,” the concert highlights the dynamic mixture of dance styles Art of Motion is known for. The audience will enjoy traditional and contemporary choreography performed to a wide variety of musical choices. A pointe number, “Nothing Says Success Like a Right Hand Ring” features Beech’s innovative choreography and, of course, the dancers wearing the appropriate “right hand ring.”

There is only one solo, which will be performed by Dewey High School senior, Kirby Woodward. This will also be Bartlesville High School senior Lauren Smith’s finale performance with Art of Motion.

“We want to congratulate our graduating seniors and wish them the best as they pursue their collegiate careers,” says Beech.

The grand finale promises to be the cherry on top of an evening of sweet deserts: A combined production number highlighting Lyn Cramer’s original choreography from Texas Association Teachers of Dance 2005 Gala Performance, “Raise the Roof and Celebrate 20 Years of Success!”

The community is invited to come see this milestone performance. Tickets are available at the Bartlesville Community Center Box Office or by calling 336-2787. For more information about the 20th anniversary or programs offered at Art of Motion Dance call 333-3412.

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“Christmas Spectacular”: Local Studio Celebrates a Decade of Dance

 

‘Christmas Spectacular’: Local studio celebrates a decade of dance
By Special to the E-E
Friday, December 12, 2008 1:38 PM CST

Nine years ago, Shelly Beech, owner of Art of Motion Dance, decided her students deserved the opportunity to participate in a holiday show. Prior to 1999, her dancers had only limited opportunities to get involved with local Christmas productions.

“Bartlesville was ready for something new and I was confident that I could produce, direct and choreograph a high quality show,” said Beech.

“There has been tremendous community support. Our gratitude goes out to everyone that contributed to our first 10 years of success,” she said.

The beauty of the ‘Christmas Spectacular’ is its range of entertainment. From tap-dancing preschoolers dressed as elves to, in the blink of an eye, a stage filled with majestic angels.

Audiences have enjoyed the fast-paced, high-energy, constantly changing style of the show for almost 10 years, according to Beech.

Music selections include many traditional favorites but there is always a surprise or two. “Bartlesville’s Christmas Spectacular” also doesn’t forget the spiritual aspects of Chris“I remember singing ‘Silent Night’ and ‘What Child Is This?’ in elementary school,” Beech said. “The Christmas pageant was held during a school assembly and the audience was filled with our parents and relatives that took off work to share in our big day. We performed like a choir of angels.”

The show is filled with childhood memories and has a definite Radio City Music Hall style.

There are a few songs from the claymation specials of the ’70s and the production numbers are reminiscent of the Christmas variety shows watched every December.

The animated holiday cartoons are even incorporated into a jazz routine dedicated to the mean ole’ Mister Grinch.

Audiences will enjoy a time before satellite and Tivo. Beech invites the public to gather family and, instead of sitting around the television, come to see Bartlesville’s newest holiday tradition.

“What was commonplace in my childhood has gone the way of rabbit ear antennas,” said Beech. “My wish is that ‘Bartlesville’s Christmas Spectacular’ connects today’s children with the child hidden inside their parents and grandparents — sharing and passing on traditions through song and dance.

“It’s fine that Santa Claus, the Grinch, angels and Sugar Plum Fairies all perform in the same show,” said Beech. “This production is a melting pot of memories and traditions. It’s full of hometown holiday charm!”

The public is invited to share in this very special evening at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Bartlesville Community Center.

For tickets call 918-336-2787 or visit www.bartlesvillecommunitycenter.com.

Christmas Spectacular

From Left: Heaven Fuller, Carrie Tillett, Claire Malaby, Alexis Dout, Hayden Wehmeyer

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Bartlesville’s Christmas Spectacular Tickets on Sale!

The Grinch and Max

Click here to order tickets!

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Classes Start!

Classes start Wednesday, August 11th.

We’re still accepting enrollment. Registration cards are posted on the front door, or contact the studio at 918-333-3412.

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Bartlesville Christmas Spectacular in Dance Studio Life

Dance Studio Life included Art of Motion in a feature about Nutcracker alternatives. To view the article, click on the image. When it opens in a new window, click on the article again to view larger text.

Bartlesville Christmas Spectacular 2009 Dance Studio Life

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Shelly Beech in Dance Studio Life Magazine

Dance Studio Life recently interviewed Shelly Beech for their Dance Teacher in the Spotlight feature.

To read the article, click directly on the article. When it opens in a new window, click on it again to enlarge the text. Enjoy!

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