(Border City Dance Co. dancers rehearsing their original production Icons Pop Superstars at Rockstar Music Hall on Tues. June 15, 2021. From left, Emma Ion (Christina Aguilera) Abby Gorgerat (Britney Spears) Cristian Lafleur (Bruno Mars) Rachel Jones (Stevie Nicks) Katelyn Garrick (Selena Gomez) Megan Garrick (J-lo) Neriah Smith (Beyoncé). Photo above by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.)
A talented group of youth dancers training under Border City Dance Company, founded by award-winning choreographer Melissia Williams, have independently produced their own solo acts for their original production, Icons Pop Superstars. The drive-in style entertainment showcase opened last weekend on the outdoor stage of Rockstar Music Hall and Platinum Room (2418 Central Ave.). The cast thrilled audiences of all ages that watched from inside their vehicles and are prepared to leap through the air one final time this weekend (June 25 to 27).
“We let our dancers take ownership and produce their own solo right from the beginning, we guide them through it so if they come up with a choice that we don’t think is really strong we’ll maybe suggest other things,” explained Williams during rehearsal last week. “They start by choosing the music, then they go through the character study, costuming and choreography. So all the solo representations that you see are very much produced and choreographed by themselves, which is pretty outstanding. Our faculty, Brandon Soto, Kaitlin Mackie and myself choreograph the group numbers.”
Williams, a Windsor native and graduate of St. Clair College, took her passion for dance to Los Angeles shortly after graduating and landed a gig at Glam Slam, one of the hottest nightclubs in town owned by one of the world’s most iconic entertainers, The Artist (Prince). The gig evolved into years of working with The Artist, industry professionals and eventually becoming one of the most in demand artistic directors with credits that include choreography for Hollywood movies, award shows and television shows. Clearly, based on the honking horns and cheering audiences from opening weekend, she has been passing what she’s learned onto the youth now performing in the Icons show.
Each night of Icons Pop Superstars features different pop stars being personified with great passion and intensity by the dancers. Audience members get to relive the magical moments of superstars such as Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Adele, Freddy Mercury, Shakira, Brittany Spears, Elton John, Salina Gomez, Taylor Swift, Missy Elliott, Michael Buble, Christina Aguilera, Stevie Nicks, Annie Lennox, Tina Turner, and Elvis Presley.
Fittingly, the group numbers in the show features the cast dancing to songs by Prince. When the cast finished up rehearsal last week by dancing to “I Would Die For You,” Williams ecstatically cheered and busted a couple of dance moves herself in front of the stage to display her approval. She is just one of many around the world the late legend of The Artist has influenced and still influences through those he has crossed paths with. Williams is co-host of the new podcast “I Miss Him” featuring interviews with those who were involved with Prince talking about their experiences and how much the miss him. It can be found on Spotify and the Apple Podcasts.
The youth Border City Dance Company dancers, according to David Michael, co-owner of Rockstar Music Room, “have performed over 200 shows since Halloween. Once the COVID-19 restrictions took effect in December we pivoted by coming up with a drive-in outdoor live dance entertainment experience. People just pull up in their vehicles and watch the show safely from inside their vehicles. We’re also doing outdoor wedding ceremonies on the same outdoor stage.”
David Michael says there will be more Border City Dance Company productions in the future along with live musicians performing on the same stage. “I already have some things in the works as far as performers and bands. I’ll be starting it up with musicians Kristopher Marentette, Paul Richard and myself performing the first couple of weekends to get it going. We’ll be playing 30 minute shows which includes our banquet food in a resealable microwaveable container. You can eat right in your car and take some home if you have leftovers. Once you park the food will be brought out right before the show starts and then ‘boom’ the band comes out and you watch a thirty minute live concert while you’re eating in your car. It’s probably faster than if you go get a bucket of chicken and take it home. You don’t even have to change out of your pajamas if you don’t want to. You can just say hey let’s go, it’s like date night without even getting dressed. Obviously, that creates opportunities for musicians as well.”
Final Icons Pop Superstar Shows and Cast:
Ava Argoselo (Elton John) Haillie Kelly (Adele) Katelyn Garrick (Missy Elliot) Toni Stramacchia (Shakira) Ellise Robson (Queen) Bria Jones (Britney Spears) Cristian Lafleur (Michael Jackson) Brandon Soto (Michael Buble)
Ava Soucie (Annie Lennox) Isabelle Soucie (Elvis) Sasha Zeff (Lady GaGa) Layla Zeff (Taylor Swift) Toni Stramacchia (Jennifer Lopez) Neriah Smith (Tina Turner) Julia Tregasskiss (Stevie Nicks) Hailey Boyko (Madonna)
Emma Ion (Christina Aguilera) Abby Gorgerat (Britney Spears) Cristian Lafleur (Bruno Mars) Rachel Jones (Stevie Nicks) Katelyn Garrick (Selena Gomez) Megan Garrick (J-lo) Neriah Smith (Beyoncé)
Advance tickets required and available online at https://rockstarplatinum.com/shows.php
For more about Border City Dance Co. visit https://www.facebook.com/BorderCityDanceCo/
For more about Melissa Williams visit https://www.melissawilliams.info/