One hundred and fifty dancers ages 2 to 18 took the stage Friday night and will perform again Saturday in the production “Dancing on Cloud 9.”

Studio founder and Director Anna Crumley Nelson said during dress rehearsal Thursday night students have spent hundreds of hours preparing for the production. Nelson chose the name “Dancing on Cloud 9” because this is the ninth year for students to present a spring performance.

“‘Dancing on Cloud 9’ is a culmination of songs that are happy, songs that are upbeat, and songs that I like,” she said. “The show is just about promoting happiness and beautiful dancing.

It’s the entire conservatory, whereas ‘Nutcracker’ are students that audition and are selected to be in that program.” 

There are 30 dance numbers in the spring show. Nelson said students began working on improving technique and basic dance skills at the beginning of the year. Then, they progressed to choreography.

The Studio A pre-professional company is also involved in the show. The company is comprised of 40 students ages 4 to 18.

“Those are my elite dancers, that train outside of the studio,” Nelson said. “My 4-year-olds are doing four, five or six dance numbers in this show. And, that’s a lot to do when they are little-bitty, but they memorize it all, and learn it all. It’s pretty impressive.”

Two students, high school seniors Melissa Malone and Gabby Sproles, will major in dance next year. Malone received a $7,000 scholarship to dance at Central Methodist University in Fayette, and Sproles will attend the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Dance.

“It’s pretty exceptional to have some seniors that are going to keep dancing,” Nelson said. “That’s the dream to inspire these kids, their hearts and minds through dance education. So, when they choose to go on to dance or even if they are not using dance, I promote lifelong values they can still use in life.”

The spring production “Dancing on Cloud 9” takes in seven ballet numbers, and also covers jazz, tap, contemporary, lyrical and point numbers. Many of the numbers are contemporary but Nelson also included oldies from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s.

“All of the songs are songs that I love the most,” she noted. “Songs that just make me happy in life.”

Studio A Dance Conservatory will present “Dancing on Cloud 9” at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Smith-Cotton High School Heckart Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $12 and may be pre-ordered at or purchased at the door. Auditions for “Tale of the Nutcracker” begin June 20. For more information, call 660-827-0028.

Arts & Entertainment Reporter

Faith Bemiss is a reporter for the Sedalia Democrat, covering general assignment, arts, food and entertainment stories. She can be reached at 660-530-0289.

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