Thousands of Students, One Giant Choreographed Dance

Over 18,000 LA students will dance over a three-day children's festival.

By Alysia Gray Painter
|  Thursday, Apr 18, 2013  |  Updated 1:24 PM PDT
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Thousands of Students, One Giant Choreographed Dance

Blue Ribbon Children's Festival

3,000 LA kids are set to dance at the Music Center on Tuesday, April 23, as part of the Blue Ribbon Children's Festival. Then five more groups of kids, all about 3,000 in number, will follow over the next two days.

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Did you take ballet or tap or jazz dance as a tot? If so, do you recall watching the girl or boy next to you at the barre, to make sure your leg kept time with theirs?

Now imagine being aware of 2,999 other kids in your vicinity, all waving their arms or tapping their toes together. It's an epic scene, and one that's set to go down at Music Center Plaza multiple times starting on Tuesday, April 23.

That's when the Blue Ribbon Children's Festival opens for a three-day run. What's called "California's Longest-Running Arts Imitative" turns 43 this year and that's something to celebrate. Why? Art cutbacks in school haven't yet tampered Blue Ribbon's success with bringing the performing arts to kids.

Or vice versa. Thousands of fifth-graders from around LA County are set to enjoy a performance of the highly acrobatic "Traces" at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, a very special field trip indeed.

But they, too, will perform on the plaza, in groups of 3,000. Some 18,000 students are set to visit the downtown arts hub from April 23 to April 25, meaning there will be six performances in all.

And when you consider that these are choreographed dances, you do have to give a "whoa." The kids won't be out there on the plaza, moving to their own beat. That's a considerable feat.

Did you see a play or dance performance when you were in the fifth grade as part of Blue Ribbon? The answer is likely, if you happened to be a fifth-grader in LA County some time after 1970. Be heartened that the program continues on, inspiring more kids to love live performance.

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