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Central Coast Living: 'Deyo Dances' performance showcases adult dancers

Posted at 11:20 AM, Aug 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-01 14:32:55-04

Central Coast Living is drawing dancers from across the western region to perform this weekend in San Luis Obispo in a show called "Deyo Dances. "

Lisa Deyo has been dancing and teaching young dances on the Central Coast for decades but this weekend, she's spotlighting adult dancers to tell stories through movement and music.

Deyo refers to her group of performers as a "pick-up dance company."

"I like the model of a symphony, that all the musicians are responsible for their own work. They learn the pieces, they have the sheet music and they come and they meet often just before they perform for the conductor to fine-tune them," Deyo said. "I put myself in the position of the conductor of these bodies."

One of those bodies is Colorado-based dance teacher Anne Powell.

"As you get older, you don't get as many opportunities to perform," Powell said. "It was a real honor and a real opportunity for me to come here and do this."

Deyo and Powell rehearsed one-on-one weeks ago in Colorado. Then, it was up to Powell to study videos and Deyo's notes on her own in order to be ready to rehearse with the entire ensemble the week before the performance.

"When you get to bring all that energy together, it's really a wonderful process," Powell said.

The show consists of five pieces, varying in style from ballet to jazz and modern to musical theater.

Tanya Knippelmeir traveled from Northern California to perform in "Deyo Dances."

"If you know everything about dance, if you know nothing about dance, you're going to enjoy this production because it's about the human experience, it's about being part of a community," Knippelmeir said.

Lisa Deyo has been part of the local arts community since childhood, beginning her dance training as one of the first students of the Academy of Dance San Luis Obispo in San Luis Obispo.

Today, the Academy of Dance's owner, Drew Silvaggio, has donated studio time for Deyo to rehearse her production.

"Lisa is just a treasure for the Central Coast and we're super lucky to have someone with her professional experience," Silvaggio said.

The Academy of Dance is affiliated with the non-profit Civic Ballet of San Luis Obispo, which is sponsoring the production of "Deyo Dances."

Deyo and her dancers say the show's relatable storylines, fun music and amazing talent will make for a great night out at the theater for the entire family.

"I do guarantee you'll leave the theater tapping your toes," said dancer Anne Powell.

There are two opportunities to watch "Deyo Dances" this weekend: Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. in Spanos Theater on the Cal Poly campus. Tickets may be purchased online or at the door.