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Dance group mixes things up for the holidays

Brooklyn Daily
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Photo gallery

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DANCING WITH THE STAR: Phil Stambaugh, a choreographer at the Brooklyn Dance Center, performs “What Child Is This.”
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ON THE FLY: Choreographer Phil Stambaugh is lifted as part of the “Ghosts of Christmas Past” dance.
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AMAZING GRACE: Daniel Ferrante choreographed and performed his original piece, “Infinite Grace.”
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ALL IN WHITE: Dancers with the Brooklyn Dance Ensemble performed to a sold-out crowd of 200 people at IS 281 on 24th Avenue.
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TIPPY TOES: Besides staging performances, the Brooklyn Dance Center also offers classes for youths and adults.

“The Nutcracker” wasn’t the only holiday dance show worth seeing this Christmas.

The Brooklyn Dance Center performed flamenco, modern dance and classical ballet to a sold-out crowd as part of its annual holiday concert at IS 281 in Bensonhurst on Dec. 17. The show, “Illuminati­ons of Christmas,” showcased a diverse group of original works by members of the Gravesend center’s dance ensemble, and music from the band August Michael and Friends.

The center’s director, Gail Kroog, said the show succeeded in mixing things up for the holidays.

“We wanted to do something new,” Kroog said. “There was something for everyone.”

The show included choreographer Phil Stambaugh’s “Ghosts of Christmas Past,” as well as “Infinite Grace,” a crowd favorite set to the popular anthem “Amazing Grace” that was choreographed and performed by Daniel Ferrante.

Kroog founded the dance center on W. Sixth Street at Avenue U in the mid 1980s to give dancers a place to hone their craft.

“It was always my lifelong dream to create a space where people can grow as dancers,” said Kroog, who studied modern dance and has a background in ballet, tap and gymnastics. “The community needed a place for artists to get together.”

The center offers rehearsal space and year-round instruction in 12 different dance styles — including belly dancing and hip-hop — as well as yoga, pilates and zumba classes. The center’s ensemble performs at venues throughout the city.

Reach reporter Daniel Bush at dbush@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow him at twitter.com/dan_bush.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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