News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Sisters dancers enchant audience on ‘One Winter’s Night’

Sisters Dance Academy’s winter recital “One Winter’s Night” delighted a packed house at the Sisters High School auditorium on Saturday. Dancers aged 3 to 18 performed ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, Broadway and contemporary, donning bright colorful costumes depicting the holiday season.

The festive performances showcased 200 dancers that enchanted the audience during both shows.

This year’s theme was inspired by a song from “The Chronicles of Narnia,” entitled “Only the Beginning of the Adventure.”

“The scene where Lucy walks through the wardrobe for the first time and mysteriously enters a snowy, winter wonderland has always been a magical one to me and I wanted to bring the magic and adventure of what winter means to the stage this year,” said Lonnie Liddell, owner and dance instructor at Sisters Dance Academy.

Liddell brought a nighttime element into the theme using realistic snowy background imagery to give the teachers and choreographers more breadth in creativity to what they could incorporate into each number.

Sisters Dance Academy gained two new dance teachers this year.

Liddell noted, “Ashley Gaona started with us this fall, taking on four hip-hop classes, ages 7-12. She is an amazing teacher and talented hip-hop dancer who is a Bend native and has taught all over Central Oregon for many years. Olivia Bertagna, a high school student, has been dancing since the age of three and studying with the Sisters Dance Academy since the age of six and now, 10 years later, has taken on teaching her own Lyrical Ballet class to seven- and eight-year-olds!”

The opening number featured the advanced ballet students dancing to “Only the Beginning of the Adventure,” and it set a magical feeling for the entire show.

There were performances from the youngest dancers depicting tiny little snowflakes in their dance “Suzy Snowflake” to hip-hop dancers depicting creatures of the night in their dance “Afterhours.” There were dances about dreams and slumber parties, Santa and his elves, and even a piece from the Nutcracker done by the advanced pointe class entitled “Waltz of the Snowflakes.”

The crowd cheered as 12 five- and six-year-old dancers dressed as tiny reindeer performed ballet to the dance number and classic song “Sleigh Ride,” choreographed by Liddell.

The grace of the dancers performing the number “Keep You Warm,” also a contemporary Christmas song by Sam Tsui and Kina Grannis, held the audience spellbound with their captivating moves.

During intermission friends, families and Sisters folks enjoyed a special bake sale, a homemade holiday smorgasbord of goodies that raised funds to help pay for the dance academy’s two competition teams.

The Sisters Dance Academy Performance Ensemble will also be doing a special performance for the residents of The Lodge in Sisters on Thursday, December 19. The main purpose of the Performance Ensemble is to perform for the community and spread the joy and love of dance through performance.

The Dance Academy will be starting the winter/spring session on January 6, and enrollment opens again on December 18 at


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