VIDEO: After-School Dancers Bring Dreams and Colors to the Stage

PS 276 4th and 5th graders give a hip-hop performance, choreographed by their after-school dance teacher Frida Persson. It was one of 27 pieces in the two shows on June 16. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib 

Jun. 22, 2018

Each spring nearly 300 children in Manhattan Youth’s after-school dance programs, now offered in six elementary schools and the Downtown Community Center, take the stage at PS 89 for a show of ballet, hip-hop, jazz and contemporary dance. None have been splashier than “I Dream in Color,” presented on June 16.

Samplings from one of two "I Dream in Color" performances, this one by students from PS 234, PS 89, PS 276 and the Downtown Community Center. The other show featured dancers from PS 343, PS 397 and PS 225.

Those dreams did come true, complete with a stage framed in flashing LED lights and costumes, designed by Constance Tarbox, of every shimmering hue.

Susan Kay, who conceives and directs two big performances by after-school students each year, said the inspiration for this one came from Regina Belle’s song, “I Dream in Color.” “The words moved me, having a universal message,” she said. “I felt there were diverse ways of developing that theme, with lots of options using the idea metaphorically, literally and visually.”

Dreaming is also about being the best you can be, Kay added, and believing in yourself. “Dreaming big!” she said. “What better message can we give our children?”