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Victory dance: Brooklyn hoofers compete in a two-day dance-off

Dance off: Dancers will go toe-to-toe at Winter Follies 2019 in Park Slope on Feb. 1 and 2.
Brooklyn Paper
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One of these dancers will get a leg up!

A group of Kings County jitterbugs will compete in an epic, two-day dance-off in a Park Slope church beginning Feb. 1, where the audience members will decide who waltzes away as the prima ballerina.

“It is very democratic,” said Elise Long, artistic director at the dance studio Spoke the Hub, which sponsors the event.

Each night of the Winter Follies, hosted at Old First Reform Church on Carroll Street, will see between 25 and 35 solo dancers and ensembles performing five-minute routines to vie for the audience’s affection — and their vote.

The winner will nab 50 hours of free rehearsal time at Spoke the Hub’s studio in Park Slope, and more importantly, will star in a showcase performance that is fully produced and marketed by Spoke the Hub in the fall of 2019, giving new artists a prime opportunity to break into the Brooklyn art scene, according to the studio’s programs coordinator

“The fully produced showcase means Spoke takes care of tech direction and publicity, and they just get to do their work,” said Dalienne Majors.

Popular up-and-coming performers have been known to stack the deck in their favor by inviting friends to the show, said Majors, but the Winter Follies also offers an option for talented introverts. Artistic director Long chooses several competitors to share starring roles in a Director’s Choice showcase, ensuring that all of the event’s best performers walk away winners — regardless of any social advantages.

“We added the Director’s Choice showcase, where I choose four to six artists that stand out to me, but may not get the popular vote,” said Long.

Long launched the annual Winter Follies competition in 2001 to give young performers an opportunity to strut their stuff before a live audience — and as a way to show ticket holders a good time.

“Winter Follies is always a fun, kind of wild, and unpredictable event,” said Long. “We do not curate it at all — but the cream generally rises to the top, we have found.”

Winter Follies at Old First Reformed Church (729 Carroll St. between Sixth and Seventh avenues in Park Slope, www.spokethehub.org). Feb. 1 and 2 at 7:30 pm. $20 ($15 in advance, $10 students and seniors).

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Posted 12:00 am, January 24, 2019
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