US Dancer Visits the Wizard

By Madison Gaston

On March 14 at 1:30 pm, Oak Hall senior Allison Potapow will be easin’ on down the road at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for Performing Arts. Danscompany of Gainesville, the resident company of Cameron Dance Center in Gainesville, Fla is putting on its annual Spring Concert and The Wiz. The Spring Concert showcases the many talented dancers at Danscompany of Gainesville and allows the choreographers to use the dancers to express their creative vision. After the concert, audiences will watch Potapow perform as “Dorothy” in the lyrical, jazz, and contemporary production based off the 1978 film The Wiz. 

Allison Potapow plays “Dorothy” in the production of The Wiz
Photo courtesy of Chris Quire

Potapow has been dancing since she was three years old. In addition to all her school work, she dances 20 hours per week in order to perfect her technique in all genres of dance. On top of the group dances in the Spring Concert and The Wiz, Potapow has to teach herself all of the Dorothy solos in the production. Of course, being a dancer means having to learn combinations and choreography quickly while having good technique and stage presence. Potapow, however, is up to the task and is excited about her lead role as Dorothy. “I’m extremely grateful to have been given this opportunity and so far I’m having a great time with it,” she exclaimed. 

Allison Potapow plays “Dorothy” in the production of The Wiz
Photo courtesy of Chris Quire

After hours of tedious rehearsal, Potapow can finally take off her painful characters shoes. As Dorothy, Potapow’s character shoes are bedazzled with silver sequins to represent Diana Ross’ Dorothy, who wears silver shoes instead of the traditional red that is seen in The Wizard of Oz. Dancing in these shoes on top of the sequins, however, is no easy task. As lead soloist, Potapow also does not have much time to hydrate in between dances. “While I’m anxious to play Dorothy, most of my emotions are excitement and happiness,” she said. Prior to being cast in The Wiz, Potapow spent countless hours in pointe shoes, dancing in the role of Summer Fairy in the ballet Cinderella. Now, she has to quickly prepare for the next production with only two months of rehearsal. Oak Hall seniors Cameron Peloso and Emma Anderson will be dancing alongside her.