About 200 young dancers ages 3-19 are to bring "The Light Fantastic" to The Ritz Theatre stage this weekend when Dance Unlimited presents its annual recital.
Performances are at 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
Cynthia Weaver, director of the studio, said the show includes 25 routines, including a new "alumni dance" featuring 22 former students in a jazz number. At least two of the instructors, Heather Schalk and Lea Frank, are alumni. The 10 instructors chose the costumes and music for their students' performances.
"All the teachers did their own choreography," Weaver said. "Besides being excellent dancers themselves, they are even better teachers. They make the kids really enjoy learning to dance at the same time as teaching proper technique."
Schalk majored in dance at Otterbein College and earned a master's in counseling. She teaches intermediate and advanced ballet.
A jazz instructor, Frank is the daughter of Jackie Therriault, co-founder of Dance Unlimited with Mary Jo Murray.
The instructors also include Rosalyn Gase (beginning ballet), Julie Webb (ballet), Alayna Stastny (tap) and Sarah Raber (hip hop). Most of the classes have a teacher assistant.
"In addition to our usual ballet and jazz offerings, we have expanded our programs to offer more options in tap, hip-hop and modern," Weaver said. "We have just finished our fourth year of our special needs class."
Weaver said the instructors dance with the five special needs students for their recital performance. The beginning ballet class has two assistants who lead them through their routine. Some students are taking more than one class, so they may appear in the show as many as five times. The dancers must pay for their own costumes.
Weaver said the recital is a chance for the students to showcase their skills and to see what other dancers have learned in the various classes.
"It really shows them where they can go," Weaver said.
Located in Tiffin Mall, Dance Unlimited is in its 32nd year. Classes are offered in a non-competitive atmosphere in which students support one another's accomplishments.
This year, 12 students are graduating from the dance program and presenting their final recital.
Tickets for "The Light Fantastic" can be purchased at The Ritz box office, 30 S. Washington St. They are $13 for adults and $5 for children. For reservations and information, call (419) 448-8544.