‘Chicago’ preparations: Local choreographer offers dance lessons

Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association Stages is bringing “Chicago: The Musical” to Hood River in June 2018. In anticipation of the production, show choreographer and dance instructor Susan Sorensen, owner of Columbia Gorge Dance Academy, will be offering a class series for interested actors to brush up on their dance moves.

“I’ll be teaching basic dance steps and terminology, plus how to learn more complicated choreography sequences. Each class will build on the previous one, so it’s very important to attend them all, if possible,” Sorensen said.

The series will be offered in December and January at the Columbia Gorge Dance Academy, located at 2600 May Ave. in Hood River. Nine 90-minute classes will begin on Dec. 16 at 10 a.m., Dec. 17 at noon and Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m. January classes will be on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 3, 10, 17 and 31, plus Jan. 20 at 10 a.m. and Jan. 21 at noon.

A $40 fee includes all nine sessions, whether a participant attends one class or all of them. Individuals can sign up with Sorensen by calling 541-490-0555, emailing sq@gorge.net or by registering at class time. Men and women are welcome. There are no children’s roles in the musical.

Auditions for Chicago will be in February for the June show. All auditioning actors are strongly encouraged to complete the dance coursework; however, it is not required. Please note the auditions will also include a singing segment. Director Bruce Ludwig, who directed ”The Full Monty” in 2015, emphasized that while dance class participation is highly recommended, it does not guarantee a role.

Set during the 1920s Prohibition era, “Chicago: The Musical” won several Tony awards on Broadway, and its movie adaptation won an Academy Award for Best Picture in 2002.

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