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Ginger Gunn’s vision becomes reality with Reflections in Dance recital

Apr 09, 2018 11:05AM ● Published by Holly Vasic

Holladay is a city worth celebrating according to a recital coming up on April 9 at Olympus High School. The evening will showcase private dance studios as well as public Jr. high and high schools in the city with dance numbers that portray different aspects of life in Holladay. 

Ginger Gunn comes from a lineage of dancers. Her grandfather owned the first dance studio in Utah in 1918, she says. Gunn owned her own private studio for 25 years, the Gunn School of Dance, and then began teaching at Evergreen Jr. High. “They didn’t have a dance program, so I started their dance program,” Gunn said. After retiring from 17 years at the public school back in May of 2017, she had an idea. While at Evergreen, parents would ask for recommendations for their children if they wanted to do dance outside of school. “I’d say, well I’m not really familiar with what the studios do around here,” Gunn said. She was not happy with that answer so the idea began to spark. “Maybe it’s time that we communicate with each other and that we present something beautiful, that isn’t competition, together, and then we will get to know each other better,” Gunn said. 

Her vision began to come to light when Gunn joined the Holladay Arts Council and realized that many other arts, such as visual, were represented well, but not dance. She called the local schools about a potential showcase and then thought, “Well gosh, I need to include the private studios in Holladay — we’ve got some wonderful strong private dance studios.” So she called them up too. 

Gunn is hoping to begin a tradition. This year her vision will come together in a recital called Holladay’s Reflections in Dance. “We are all working on the theme,” Gunn said. Each piece included a two–three sentence statement about why living in Holladay is so wonderful. “So, every dance will be a different aspect of living in Holladay and how wonderful it is,” she said.

This recital means more to Gunn than bringing everyone together to celebrate Holladay. Private dance studios and public-school dance programs have clashed in dates for recitals and programs many times and Gunn hopes bringing these two circles of dance, as she called them, together will smooth out some of these conflicts and connect these two worlds. “We are now going to know who the directors are of all these private schools and if there is a conflict we can call up,” Gunn said. Also, public teachers, like Gunn was, will be able to guide parents and give recommendations based on their kid’s ability and interest if they want to do an outside-of-school program. “It’s just going to be cool, any way I look at it is a win-win. So, I’m excited,” Gunn said. 

In the past, children only had exposure to certain kinds of dance in the private studio realm, but Gunn is grateful children are getting access to the art in the public system. “They are finally figuring it out,” she said. “You can’t just work with half of the child.” 

Gunn was able to get all the public Jr. high and high schools in Holladay on board, including Churchill, Olympus and Wasatch Jr High, as well as Olympus and Skyline High School. Gunn found five private studios that were interested as well, which are Elite Studio, Silhouette Studio, the Winners School, Dance Arts Theatre of Utah and Dance Box. Gunn is thrilled and cannot wait for the dance concert. “This is really cool because these are two groups that have never really worked hand-in-hand with each other.”

Holladay Reflections in Dance will take place at 7 p.m. on April 9 at the Olympus Jr. High School auditorium located at 2217 East Murray-Holladay Road. The show is free and only an hour long, so bring the family and enjoy an evening of dance.

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