MOMENTUM DANCE: BELIEVE IN YOUR OWN MAGIC
When: 7 p.m. Sunday and Monday
Where: Center Stage Theater, Paseo Nuevo
Information: (805) 963-0408 or www.centerstagetheater.org
We’ve been covering Betsy Woyach’s Momentum Dance for five years now in the pages of Scene and we’ve watched her grow. The dance school that trains its young participants to join the competitive dance circuit, that sends them out to the Los Angeles and Orange County and Las Vegas and then comes back with trophies…yes, they’ve been doing well. If the bigger cities thought Santa Barbara wasn’t a thing, well they thought wrong. Consistently landing in the top ten in competition, this coming weekend’s recital is part a summation of a year, and partly a victory lap. And it all goes down at the Center Stage Theater, under the title “Believe in Your Own Magic.”
“My petit company that started in year one with me are going into high school,” Woyach says. “Everybody’s getting Facebook reminders that pull up these old videos and we are all watching them…It’s mind blowing to see these kids and see what they’ve done in five years. It’s astounding.”
Without consciously curating it, Woyach and her team are seeing the changes in strength, confidence, and talent that has taken place. And that has affected some of the program on display Saturday and Sunday, in terms of the challenges Woyach and her other choreographers have set up. Momentum has several age-based tiers in its studio, and all will be taking part in this weekend’s show.
This year marked the biggest change in Momentum’s history–they now have their own space on State Street, in the building behind Casa Blanca restaurant, just as State Street dips under the freeway. And there was also a time where Woyach choreographed nearly all of the numbers in the recital, some two dozen or more. But she’s been loosening the reins over the year and now has given space to a quite impressive array of instructors/choreographers: Carly Visger, Arianna Hartanov, Hannah Graham, Pablo Gatica, Quinn Oliver, Emily Smith, Elena Schneider, Madeline Asadoorian, Meghan Buddy, and Taylor Atelian. All have their own expertise, and all have contributed to the evening.
And talking about that program–there are several works that took prizes at the KAR Dance Competition (opening number “Ashes,” choreographed by Visger; Woyach’s “Sugar & Spice,” “Werquin 9 to Thrive,” which took first place; “The Sassy Six” and “Beauty Shop” by Woyach; Visger’s “Half Light” and Graham’s “Hold My Own” which was awarded Top First in their respective categories; and Woyach’s “Lose My Breath”) as well as winners from the Showbiz Dance and Showstopper Dance competitions.
“It was our best year yet,” Woyach said. “At Showstopper, every single time we competed we ended up in the top 10…It was mind blowing. For the kids it’s a reconfirmation that their hard work is paying off.”
One of their senior dancers, Christina Jimenez just won Miss Dance at KAR regionals, so when she goes to Nationals next week she’ll be competing for that title against dancers from all over the country.
“West Coast (competition) is brutal,” Woyach says. “The studios are intense…But now when (Momentum) goes, they don’t feel intimidated. They don’t feel like the new kids in town…They expect a certain level from themselves.
“It’s very cool to watch. They hold it down.”