The hardest thing about learning to dance is taking that first step. Luckily, students at Anderson School had an expert to help them over that hurdle.

Longtime Fairbanksan Ann Olson moved from her hometown long ago and now lives in Oregon. But every spring, she returns as creative director of Motion Sensors Dance Troupe in Healy. For the past 15 or so years, she directs the troupe’s annual show, which has grown into an annual community tradition. This year marks the 21st show.

She always teaches a ballet class in Fairbanks when she arrives and this year, she also has time to visit other schools in the Denali Borough. She even has some extra help. Two students from Eugene Ballet Academy are here to help with instructional and rehearsal. This is the second year of the dance intern program and the second visit for Selena Prince and Kira Royce, who have forged strong friendships with dancers in Healy.

The dance workshop in Anderson was so well received, she’ll be heading back next week to teach more. During the workshop she and interns had K-2 student fluttering around like black-capped chickadees, 3-5 grade students hunched over and tromping around like hobgoblins and teens in middle- and high school learning some fancy steps.

But the highlight for teens was the ‘Introduction to Partnering’ class. 

That includes developing trust between partners and learning the correct and safe way to work together to make some beautiful dance moves - including lifts.

Ann Olson visits Cantwell School next week and will continue rehearsals with troupe dancers for the upcoming show ‘Hansel & Gretel’ on April 30, May 1 and 2.

Motion Sensors Dance Troupe is the premiere program of the longtime nonprofit Kids In Motion. In the interest of full disclosure, readers should know that Kris Capps is the president of Kids In Motion. 

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at Call her at the office 459-7546. Follow her on Twitter @FDNMKris.