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L.A. Beat

Ammena Dance Studios celebrates one last dance at World Explosion of Dance

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It has been a long run, but Lise -Ann Talhami, owner of Ammena Dance studios is  saying goodbye with one last dance– the last World Explosion of World Dance at the Yates Centre, March 3-4.Lise Anne Talhami’s last Explosion of World Dance is sure to be a blast, March 3 and 4. Photo by Richard Amery

There are a number of reasons it’s the last one. The landlord is turning the space I was using  as my studio into condominiums,” said Talhami, who opened the Pink Swan Boutique downtown in November.

“ And I’ve been doing this for a long time, 14 years, by myself. I’ve been trying to find someone to help, but haven’t found anyone. It’s been a lot of work,” she said, adding it has also been a lot of fun befriending her dancers. So the Last World Dance Explosion will send Ammena off with a blast.

“I’ve got 123 adults and my kids— 25 of them. Last year we had a circus theme. This year the theme is jet set. It’s a good way to say it’s over,” said Talhami, choking back a few tears.
“ There will be quite a few people who were in the first show, performing in this one,” she said.

 The show will encompass a variety of  dance styles, beginning with a Broadway piece, followed by Showgirls, dance hall, several African dances, burlesque, Bollywood, contemporary dancing, belly dancing, hip hop and a Beyonce piece plus Redfoo’s ‘Juicy Wiggle”.

This show also includes more men performing.
“We used to have guys in the Latin dances, but we have more guys this year,” she said. The show will also feature pianist Kate LaRocque
“The finale is every style I’ve ever taught,” Talhami said.

Ammena closes it’s doors in July, with the last classes happening in June.

She knew she was going to close her studio a year go and that this year would be the last Explosion of World Dance show.

“It’s really sad. There was a lot of crying — me and my students. We spend a lot of time together and we’ve become friends,” she said.

“I’ve had 482 students. We’ve been to weddings  together and funerals. We’ve been through a lot together,” she said.

“I’ve enjoyed seeing these ladies and watching their growth. I’ve seen them not being able to dance at all and being completely new, to to doing pretty extraordinary pieces.”
They started preparing for this show back in September.

 The show usually sells out. There were three tickets left for Saturday night’s show and 180 left for Friday as of the interview.
“It‘s going to be a great time,” Talhami said, noting the costumers are more elaborate than for previous shows.
“It‘s going to be a great show.”
Tickets are $26 for adults, $21 for kids at the Yates Centre or online. The shows begin at 6:45 p.m.

A version of this story appears in the March 1, 2017 edition of the Lethbridge Sun Times/ Shopper

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat editor
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