Clairton takes CHANCE to big stage
Clairton students will creep onto the Kelly Strayhorn Theater stage in blood-stained, tattered clothing to perform the theatrical dance piece “Zombiji” as part of Halloween Mayhem 2013.
Clairton City School District's CHANCE club — the name stands for Creating Hope and Newfound Courage Everywhere — started in 2008 as a community service group that raised funds for local charities through annual dance performances and other school activities.
Director Trevor Miles, a Clairton graduate who was part of the club during high school, is back in the picture, choreographing dances that wowed local audiences last month during Clairton's CommUNITY Day.
Miles is helping students hone their talent and creativity at all grade levels. Once limited to high school students, CHANCE now welcomes middle and even elementary kids.
While younger students don't take part in every performance, they are having fun and learning from upperclassmen during practice sessions and community appearances.
The club boasts 40 members, 13 of whom will perform on Saturday at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in Pittsburgh's East Liberty neighborhood for the theater's fifth annual Halloween program.
“Zombiji,” which Miles says is Swahili for zombie, is the perfect fit for Halloween. With a stiff opening stance, dancers quickly transform into fluidly moving monsters whose mannerisms hint at the macabre.
“You are being a character,” sixth-grader Iyauna Chapman said. “You have to act. It's fun. You take on a whole new life like you're coming back from the dead.”
Classmate Aliyah Leicht said the performance depends on dancers' ability to convey their characters.
“You have to bring out the emotion of your dance,” she said. “The character has to come through you ... in your movements, in your face.”
Freshman Jackie Miles said “Zombiji” is sure to entertain.
“It's fun and a little creepy,” she said. “It really tests our ability.”
Clairton students will share the stage with other regional dance troupes in a program that includes performances, games, puppets, a costume parade and a guest appearance by actor David Newell, portraying Mr. McFeely of “Mister Rogers' Neighborhood” fame.
“I want our group to perform outside of Clairton,” Miles said. “This puts us on the map and gets us out into the Pittsburgh dance community. We don't just dance in the cafeteria anymore.”
Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1956, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Brass plaque stolen from McKeesport veterans memorial
- Foundation helps fill funding gap
- McKeesport man sentenced to house arrest in armed robbery
- Jamie’s Dream Team founder says she will press on despite new illness
- Clairton students reference positive ‘Frozen’-themed lessons
- Power outage planned in Elizabeth, Forward
- Elizabeth Forward marks 35th year of senior holiday breakfast
- Polka musician ‘Mr. December’ bringing his fiddle to McKeesport lodge
- Greensburg pit bull advocacy group plans fundraiser in Homestead
- Executive says Century III revival plan remains on track
- Tax break extension bill has goodies for Mon-Yough area