Dance Theater in Medina sending group to Universal Studios in Orlando

Provided photo: These dancers from Dance Theater are headed to Orlando, Fla. They will be doing a Halloween themed program. Pictured from left in front row: Charlotte McGrath, KaliRaine Brownlee, Emmalynn McGrath, Sydney Bruce and Olivia Maynard. Second row: Arabella White, Natalie Rath, Gracie Tardibone, Elaina Bruce and Gracie Brower. Third row: Baylie Watson, Brook Pisano, Marli Thrash, LiLiana Goebel, Olivia Eaton, Carly Voelker and Makenzie McGrath. Missing from photo: Izabella Murphy.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 October 2023 at 9:07 am

MEDINA – A group from Dance Theater in Medina is headed to Universal Studios in Orlando this week.

Brandon Johnson, owner of Dance Theater, said the local dancers will be part of the Universal STARS performing arts program during the Halloween Horror Nights.

The group will be performing in a stage show,  as well as taking a workshop class with universal choreographers and dancers.

“The kids will then perform their choreography on stage in one of the sound stages used to shoot movies and music videos!” said an excited Johnson.

In spring 2021, Johnson said he saw that Universal Studios was looking for performance groups to be part of the STARS Program. He sent a performance reel of the Dance Theater students from the 2021 competition season. In August 2022, he received a call letting me know that we were selected to perform in the fall 2023.

The students will take a two-hour Hip Hop choreography class with a Universal choreographer who will be teaching them choreography from a current show at Universal’s famous Halloween Horror Nights celebration, Johnson said.

The class will include a warmup as well as choreography that the studio teaches to their on-set casts, Johnson said. It will take place in a working soundstage at Universal Orlando where the studio shoots movies and music videos.

“This will give the dancers an experience of what it is like to be part of the working dance industry as well as a backstage look and how a working sound stage looks and what it feels like to be part of a film shoot,” Johnson said.

The Dance Theater group will be performing to songs such as Thriller, Halloween and The Wicked Ones.

“The dancers will also get a one-on-one talk with the choreographer and dancers about what it’s like to be working in the dance industry in theme park and what it takes to be part of the industry in that facet or performance,” Johnson said. “This is a great talk for any dancers who may be hoping to continue into the industry after graduation.”