Dancing offers Redmond sisters opportunities on Snowflake Lane and in national magazine
By SAMANTHA PAK
Redmond Reporter Reporter
December 7, 2012 · 12:25 PM
Morgan and Emmaline Spencer have been dancing for pretty much all of their lives.
The two sisters from Redmond spend hours upon hours each week at the studio, practicing everything from jazz and modern, to tap and ballet, to hip-hop and lyrical. They’ve traveled around the country and worked with a number of big names in the industry including choreographers from the reality show, “So You Think You Can Dance.”
Morgan, 16, and Emmaline, 12, both dance at Elizabeth’s Dance Dimensions in Bellevue and now their dance skills are being highlighted outside of the studio.
DANCING DOWN SNOWFLAKE LANE
For the holiday season, Morgan is one of the Jingle Belles Dancers in Bellevue’s Snowflake Lane.
“They call us the mini Rockettes,” she said.
The Jingle Belles perform each night, and like the Rockettes in New York, the 20-minute routine leans toward jazz and is filled with kick lines and set to a medley of holiday tunes.
Morgan and her family have attended Snowflake Lane for several years and she said being a Jingle Belles Dancer has been a fun experience.
“Growing up was so fun and now being part of it, I feel so lucky,” she said. “Everyone’s really nice, so accepting and so similar in that they just want to have fun.”
She said as attendees have taken pictures of her performing and with her afterward, it has been great and interesting to be part of someone else’s holiday traditions as past performers have been part of her family’s traditions.
Morgan and Emmaline’s mother Karen Spencer agreed, adding that it has been strange seeing complete strangers applauding her daughter for her performance.
Morgan, a junior at Eastlake High School in Sammamish, is the youngest dancer in the troupe of six. In addition to balancing school with performing in Snowflake Lane, she also attends dance practice at Elizabeth’s. With this very busy schedule, Morgan said she has received a lot of support from her teachers at school and at the studio, as well as from her family.
“As a family, we all had to commit,” Karen said about taking on the hectic schedule. “But it’s been so worth it.”
Snowflake Lane began Nov. 23 and will run every night at 7 p.m. through Christmas Eve along the sidewalks of Bellevue Way and Northeast 8th Street in downtown Bellevue. In addition to the Jingle Belles Dancers, the show includes lights, music, dramatic drumming from live toy soldiers and of course, snow.
After Christmas comes Celebration Lane, which also runs nightly at 7 p.m. from Dec. 26-31 in the same location. Morgan and the rest of the Jingle Belles Dancers and the live toy soldiers will be performing new festive routines and music with a New Year’s twist.
A REAL EXTRAORDINARY GIRL
Emmaline has been dancing competitively for about seven years and now she is featured in “Discovery Girls Magazine,” a national bimonthly publication for tween girls (ages 8-12).
According to its website, the magazine’s goal is to “help girls grow and develop, forming a positive sense of self through solutions that build confidence, resilience and independence.”
The magazine highlights girls from different regions of the country each issue and Emmaline is one of 12 girls from Washington profiled in the December/January issue, which is available now.
In addition to a mini-profile of each girl highlighting one aspect of her life — for Emmaline, it was her dancing — the magazine also includes photos of the girls in Seattle-area landmarks. The photos were taken during a two-day photo shoot last spring during which the girls met for the first time.
“It was an amazing experience and an honor,” Emmaline said. “By the end of the day, we were like 12 best friends.”
Karen said half of the photo shoot had the girls dressed in their own clothes and with no professional makeup or hair styling.
“They weren’t looking for models,” she said. “They wanted real girls.”
The second half of the photo shoot took place in a studio in Seattle and the girls were styled and had their hair and makeup done onsite, which Emmaline loved.
Emmaline was selected after submitting essay responses to prompts covering topics ranging from what girls in this region like to do for fun to how she would deal with bullying. Her submission ended up being about 10-12 pages.
In “Discovery Girls,” articles are written by girls, for girls and one of the essays Emmaline submitted will be featured in another upcoming issue.
Karen said being featured in “Discovery Girls” has been a beautiful experience for her younger daughter as Emmaline is typically pretty shy. This gave her an opportunity to shine somewhere else besides the stage.
“She speaks volumes with dance,” Karen said.Contact Redmond Reporter Reporter Samantha Pak at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-867-0353, ext. 5052.