Fame busts a move

By Geoff Lee

July 7, 2016 12:00 AM

Sarah Makins teaches hip hop to some inner-city Los Angeles kids as part of a promotional video for that city's Dream Center.

Fame Dance Studios Ltd., based in Lloydminster, has been busting moves lately in Las Vegas and Los Angeles in competition and public relations videos.
Now, they are working on what will be a second video featuring famed choreographer Blake McGrath who will teach master dance classes in Lloydminster on Sept. 29.
McGrath lives in LA where 15 dancers from Fame Studios’ eight locations in Alberta and Saskatchewan made an initial promotional dance video for the Dream Centre in late May.
“The Dream Centre is an incredible organization in LA that caters to the needs of the homeless,” said Fame Studios owner, Sarah Makins.
“They take food trucks to 32 different spots in LA once a week.”
Makins met with Dream Centre staff last year to ask if she could create a music video with her dancers to help them promote awareness of their social work.
“They were good with that,” said Makins,  who noted she and her dancers loaded and delivered fruits and vegetables to long lineups of people.
Those scenes were filmed by LA videographer, Sean Hale who connected with some of Fame Studio dancers competing in the Starquest dance competition in Las Vegas May 20-22.
“It was a really strong event, it was really good,” said Makins, who took about 75 dancers and parents to Vegas.
Her dancers won $300 worth of scholarships in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, lyrical, modern and contemporary dances and earned a lot of top score marks.
“After that, a lot of kids were looking forward to the next part,” she said.
She said some stayed in Las Vegas where Hale filmed studio dancers against graffiti walls and street scenes before driving that night to LA.
“The last part of the trip we were shooting different scenes at the Dream Centre, which is kind of the reason that we went,” said Makins.
“It was an awesome experience.”
The Dream Centre provides mobile hunger relief and medical programs, residential rehabilitation programs for adults and provides transitional housing for homeless families among many social services.
“They also have an after school kids program and I taught them hip hop and I taught them a flash mob that I have actually filmed in Lloydminster at three different schools,” said Makins.
Makins said a flashmob is when a giant group of people just start to dance all of a sudden.
“A flash mob is a fun, simple hip hop choreography that anybody can pick up,” she said.
One of Makins’ long time dance and music students, Samuel Lundell, is composing and performing the musical track for the original Dream Centre music video.
“I am so glad that he is now turning into a recording artist,” said the choreographer.
Makins said the video will be on our YouTube next month.
The second video for the Dream Centre will be made during McGrath’s visit to Lloydminster.
McGrath was a top six contestant in season one of the U.S. television competition, So You Think You Can Dance,  and has become an internationally known choreographer.
“To have his name attached to our cause is very exciting to keep promoting awareness,” said Makins.
In other news, Fame Dance Studios is expanding its local scholarship program in memory of Erynn Jezowski, who was a young dancer at Fame that passed away a few years ago.
“Instead of just a scholarship program, we’ve now got a dance scholarship support program,” said Makins.
The funding will assist any student, any age or level to take the amount of classes that they would like to, given the downturn in the oil economy that supports many of the studio locations.

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