Butler Community College students will be hoofing it to 60 years of Broadway hits this weekend. The dance department’s final show of the year, titled “Steppin’ Out,” will feature numbers from “West Side Story,” “Rent,” “Fosse,” “Hair,” “Tarzan” and “Grease.”

Butler Community College students will be hoofing it to 60 years of Broadway hits this weekend. The dance department’s final show of the year, titled “Steppin’ Out,” will feature numbers from “West Side Story,” “Rent,” “Fosse,” “Hair,” “Tarzan” and “Grease.”

In picking this show’s theme, musicals seemed like a natural choice to Butler dance instructor Kris Anderson.

“Dance is such an integral and important part of musical theater,” Anderson said. “I just wanted to educate the dancers on the role of dance in the theater.

“Beyond that, it lends itself to lots of different styles because we teach classes in modern, ballet, jazz and tap.”

Moreover, Anderson felt the decades of Broadway shows helped inform students in terms of cultural literacy.

“They can learn about the ’60s and what impact ‘Hair’ had on that generation, and they can contrast it with ‘Across the Universe’ [the 2007 movie musical based on the Beatles’ music], which right now has the same sort of impact,” Anderson said. “There’s an educational component to this. Also an artistic component; they can see how dance has spanned the generations.”

Because of the generational nature of the show, Anderson encourages audiences to come experience what she calls “something for everybody.”

“I think the community will be really astounded by the amount of talent we have on campus,” she said. “This is [the community’s] college. They support us financially with their taxes; we would really like them to see what we do here and how their local students have grown and blossomed.”

The show features about 60 dancers, including Butler’s Dance Team. One of those students is Odie Brown, one of three men involved in the show. A theater major, Brown opted to use dance in covering the physical education requirement of his general coursework toward completing an associate’s degree at Butler.

“I fell in love with these girls,” Brown said of his dance partners. “Dance works different parts of the body that regular athletics won’t work.”

Despite participation in a school musical or two, Brown had no real dance experience prior to taking modern dance last semester. This semester, he’s enrolled in Ballet I and will be emceeing the show in addition to his “Grease” performance.

“It’s a very diverse set of numbers,” he said.

The show opens Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. Saturday will feature a matinee at 3 p.m. and another evening show at 7:30. For tickets or more information, call 322-3262.

El Dorado Times