Sneak Peeks from Dance'N Feet Part 1

by Karen Krolak

Monkeyhouse loves Peggy Wacks for oodles and oodles of reasons. Whether she volunteers in the office, emails us information about dance festivals, or attends events, she is always assisting our programs.

When we presented the pilot project of Dream to Dance at Any Age in 2008, we brought copies of Gaby Mervis' interview with Peggy to handout to audience members. Pictures of Peggy standing on her head with other members of Dance 'N Feet inspired many of the residents at the Assisted Living centers where Monkeyhouse appeared. All the members of Dance 'N Feet are between 58 and 70! Knowing how excited people were about Dance 'N Feet, we thought we would try to catch up with Peggy and find out more about their current project.

karen Krolak: I heard that Dance'n Feet was performing recently. Were you presenting a new piece?
Peggy Wacks : We are just still learning our new number for this year so we are did our number from last year. It's the same one we did at May Fair to Cher's shoop shoop song (It's In His Eyes).

kK: When do you think Dance'n Feet's newest piece will be ready?
PW: Ready to learn (i.e. all steps choreographed) - in a few weeks; ready to perform, not before March at the earliest. It takes us many weeks of practice to learn and many more to perfect a new piece as we only practice once a week.

kK: Can you tell us anything about this new project?
PW: It is a joint effort between Nancy Simcock, who is our major choreographer and who teaches us the acrobatic/gymnastic "tricks" and Kathy Coppell, another member who occasionally choreographs. They are getting additional help by Adele Chang, another group member and any of us who come up with good ideas. This one is to a lively song - "Let's Get Loud".

kK: When we spoke earlier in the year, you were taking a choreography class. Do you have any plans to present something of your own?
PW: Truthfully, although I took a choreography workshop, I found it excruciatingly difficult and challenging. It seems the only time I come up with anything slightly original and fresh is when I am just dancing around to music. I will do something spontaneously, sort of unconscious choreography, and then it is so hard to reproduce. I don't think I"ll be contributing anything much to this project. Also, the choreography we did in the class was modern dance, and what we are doing is more like jazz.

kK: Thanks Peggy for taking the time to do this.
PW: You know, you might want to talk to the choreographers as well. Perhaps either Nancy or Kathy would be willing to answer more of your questions.

Once again, Peggy had a helpful suggestion and was able to put me in touch with Kathy Coppell. Check back tomorrow and read my follow up interview with her.

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