KSMU listeners first met Ryan Bogart last summer on “Arts News.” He and his wife Veronica (Ronnie) became the new directors of Messiah Project’s Credo Dance Academy at that time. Today both Ryan and Ronnie were in-studio along with Messiah Project director Lindsey Robison to talk about a Christian-themed dance concert this weekend.
Explains Robison, “Messiah Project is a Christian arts organization, and dance has always been such a big part of anything we do. We started a Dance Academy, I guess maybe 10 years ago, and we just recently found Ryan and Ronnie down in Florida. And they decided to come up here and take over the Dance Academy, and are just doing a tremendous job. Ronnie had a studio for 34 years in Florida, and Ryan has danced professionally all over the East Coast. So they’ve brought a high level of professionalism and maturity to our Academy. And to have a male dancer in charge of an academy is great. It’s a great team.”
Credo Dance Academy will present “The Reason For The Season”, a holiday performance featuring multiple styles of dance to some old, and perhaps new, Christmas favorites, showcasing over 35 dancers ranging in age from 3 to 23. Messiah Project vocalists will also be on hand for some caroling. Performances are in MSU’s Coger Theater on Saturday, December 16 at 7:30pm and Sunday, December 17 at 2:30pm.
Ronnie Bogart says the performances will include “some ballet, jazz, tap, and acro-tumbling”—the latter a new offering for Credo, brought to the Academy by the Bogarts—“and some musical theater... a little bit of spice to the show with some glitter and fun costumes and all that good stuff.”
The performances will run just under two hours including intermission. The dancers will be accompanied by recorded music for this concert, although as the Bogarts point out, Credo has danced to a live orchestra and conductor just a few months ago at Messiah Project’s “Heritage of Hymns.” In addition to their talents, the Bogarts have brought with them “all sorts of equipment, all sorts of sets,” says Lindsey Robison. “So we’re actually looking at ‘Cinderella’ for the future. We bring the Polish orchestra (Forum Sinfonia) here, and right before they come here they’re usually doing ‘Nutcracker’ in Mississippi. So I have a goal of doing ‘Nutcracker’ or ‘Cinderella’ with a live orchestra. That’s been our heritage at Messiah Project, with Handel’s ‘Messiah.’ It’s having live performers—singers, dancers, and orchestra. It adds an entirely new dimension to what we do.”
In addition to the performances this weekend, Credo Dance Academy is currently enrolling new students for the Spring 2018 semester beginning January 3rd. There are about 40 students enrolled this semester, but the Bogarts are eager to accommodate more. “This show (The Reason for the Season) is to show off what we’ve been accomplishing in the last few months, and hoping people will come and see what Credo is offering now that’s a little different from what they’ve offered in the past,” says Ronnie Bogart. Adds Ryan Bogart, “tumbling and acro is one thing we brought that they hadn’t done before. Ronnie also teaches a drama class,” which Ryan says is “quite large.” Students do not have to be enrolled in dance classes in order to take the once-per-week drama class.
“We are encouraging boys to dance—that’s our next goal,” Ronnie Bogart says. “Having Ryan as my husband and a dancer encourages boys to look at dance.” Currently Credo has exactly ONE boy in the program, and they would like to see more boys get involved.
Tickets for “The Reason for the Season” are $10 for ages 3-9, $15 for ages 10 and up, and are available online at www.credodance.com. For more information call (417) 496-9527 or e-mail email@example.com.