Exhalations Dance Theatre to perform ‘Equinox’ at Kelly Strayhorn Theatre | TribLIVE.com
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JoAnne Klimovich Harrop

They are pharmacists, bankers, nurses, teachers, and digital strategists.

They are also dancers and members of the Exhalations Dance Theatre, a nonprofit organization that was formed to create performing and choreography opportunities for non-professional dancers.

The company will present “Equinox” at 8 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in East Liberty.

The Equinox production will feature works from eight choreographers featuring 16 local dancers.

This performance is one of two they do in a year. The other is in the fall.

Katie Mann, said she started Exhalations Dance Theatre to give people an opportunity to stay connected to dance.

“The dance family is great,” said Mann, a pharmacist. “And when you stop dancing you lose your connection to that family. It is an amazing experience to be in the company of dancers.”

The shows usually have between 16 and 25 dancers, women and men.

“Dancing is a way to express yourself,” said Lea Fosbenner, a banker and the company’s artistic director. “You can work through emotions when you dance and you will always have support from the other dancers.

“We want people to take us seriously in the dance world. We plan everything from the choreography to the music to the lighting. Our dancers are layered and complex individuals, many of whom have had a rebirth of their passion for dance through our company.”

Some of the dancers perform for other theater companies and at festivals and events.

“We try to be mindful of the dancers and non-dancers in the audience,” Mann said. “We really like the Kelly Strayhorn Theatre because it has a nice stage and is a nice size for our audience.”

The dance company has an inventory of costumes they can use as well as they often wear their own clothing, which is often coordinated so they look uniform when they are performing. They strive to inspire dancers of all ages to never give up on their dance dreams, Mann said.

Dancer Marcella Day is part of four pieces. The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre teacher said this is another way to show her love for dance.

“We all have the same focus, the same goals, and we want to put on a good show,” Day said. “This is a close-knit group.”

Tickets are $20, $18 in advance

Details: exhalations.org/equinox

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