By Abbey Snow
Mesquite Toes hold ‘Holiday Sampler’ live performance
The Mesquite Toes Dance Troupe held their ‘Holiday Sampler’ November 19 & 20 at the Mesquite Community Theatre highlighting various holidays this past year they normally would perform live if Covid restrictions weren’t in place.
“We did perform live last spring in the theater,” Vice President of the Mesquite Toes Dance Troupe Board of Directors, Cherie Kempe said. “But at that time, the audience still had to socially distance so it limited the number of people who could attend, and the seats were assigned beforehand. This time, however, there was no social distancing and only masks were required. So the audience was larger and more comfortable as they could sit wherever they pleased and with anyone they pleased. We are always thrilled to perform, with or without Covid restrictions.”
Kempe explained that although attendance was not quite up to pre-Covid levels, the turnout was good with the matinee on Saturday drawing the largest crowd. Their Holiday show is usually in December, therefore holding the event in November may have been a factor that resulted in a smaller crowd, along with the hesitancy of being in a crowd during a pandemic.
“I thought most, if not all dancers, were happy with their performance and loved the audiences,” Mesquite Toes Dance Troupe Director Marge Westwood said. “I personally received many great comments regarding the performance. This is usually a Christmas Show, so I was concerned that the audience would be expecting that. But everyone who talked to me loved the variety. It was so nice to be up on our community stage again since last fall we had to dance at a park.”
Kempe said all of the dance numbers went great and were full of energy. Tracy Bybee, Debbie Miller and Brenda Magnus all choreographed some fabulous dances. There were two numbers of particular interest. First, there was “It’s Raining Men,” by the Weather Girls, which had the added bonus of some of their husbands and male friends dancing with them. It was a big hit with the audience who cheered when the men came on, which was a delight for everyone! It was a fun, upbeat number for the performers and audience alike.
“All the dancers performed exceptionally well,” Kempe said. “ We had many comments from audience members that this was the best Mesquite Toes show they’d ever seen.”
The second highlight was the finale, “Silent Night,” by Mannheim Steamroller, in which dancers performed to the song in total darkness with black costumes and only their “candles” ( tea lights) were visible. They moved around the stage in various formations, ending in a “star” formation and blew out their candles one by one until it was totally dark and the song was over. It was very moving, emotional, and a great way to ease into the Christmas season. This number was choreographed by Brenda Magnus, and she should be credited for creating such a beautiful and poignant end to their show, Kempe said.
“Pericles Rellas was our fabulous emcee and his humor kept the audience entertained between dance numbers,” Kempe said.” He also explained more about the Toes, their history and their charitable presence in the city of Mesquite.”
Kempe said they had additional acts perform including the SunRiver Western and Jazz Dancers from Utah, and a local singer, Linda Nelson.They also had two of their Toes perform solos. Linda Villaneuva performed “Lady Bird” along with Pericles Rellas. Dana Stubbs performed “Dance Like your Daddy.”
“We are thankful for everyone who attended our show,”Kempe said.
“This spring on April 8th and 9th will be our 16th year of the Mesquite Toes Dance Spectacular,”Marge Westwood said. “Hopefully the event will be held again in the Mesquite Community Theater for a total of three shows.We have already started to learn our dances. So, if anyone might be interested, now is the time to join us.”
Those interested in joining can contact firstname.lastname@example.org. New classes will be starting after the holidays. You can visit their website at www.mesquitetoestapteam.com
(The following photos are courtesy of Bruce Hughes)
Photos 1 & 2 are ‘Sleigh Ride’ – Clogging team
Photo 3 is ‘Love Never Felt So Good’ – Tap team
Photos 4 & 5 are ‘September’ – Advanced Tap team
Photos 6 & 7 are ‘MegaBlast’ – Clogging team
Photos 8 & 9 are ‘It’s Raining Men’ – Jazz team
Photos 10 & 11 are ‘Let it Snow’ – Jazz team
Photo 14 is ‘Silent Night’
Photos 15 & 16 are ‘In the Summertime’ – Intermediate Tap team
Photos 17 & 18 are ‘Your Mama don’t Dance’ – Intermediate Tap team
Photos 19 & 20 are ‘Calendar Girl’ – Advanced Tap team
( The following photos are courtesy of Marge Westwood)
‘It’s Raining Men’ – Jazz team
‘MegaBlast’ – Clogging team