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SAFE’s Southern Dance & Performing Arts Company to present Christmas Angels

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Sylacauga – Christmas Angels, an original ballet choreographed by Jeanna Sumners, will be presented by Southern Dance and Performing Arts Company, a program of Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement, at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 15 at Sylacauga High School. The production is being underwritten by a $2,500 matching grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts.

Jeanna Sumners, choreographer and Artistic Coordinator at Southern Dance and Performing Arts Company, shares that 50 years ago, she and her sister Susan Haynes Vickery developed “a simple and sweet little Christmas story to pass the time while we counted the days down for Santa’s arrival”.  This story is the inspiration for Christmas Angels – Wrapped in Love.  The ballet is an idea inspired out of grief for displaced children.  This original production begins with a festive, whimsical scene of Christmas juxtaposed with the loneliness and brokenness the children without homes experience at the holidays.

The curtain rises on a bustling downtown area, decorated for the holidays, a common sight for many small towns in Alabama during the holidays.  It is Christmas Eve, and families have gathered for the festivities of the annual tree lighting.  The families are caught up in their own merriment, six homeless children mingle unnoticed in the midst of the celebration.  The families disperse, returning to their homes to celebrate with their families, the unwanted children remain.  Huddled around a campfire for warmth, the children are suddenly visited by their guardian angels and the children are transported to various Christmas activities to experience love and joy surrounding the celebration of the season.  Along their journey, the children meet several delightful characters, such as penguins, snowmen, and reindeer.  The amusing dance antics of these characters distract the children from their plight as forgotten children.

Dancers have been rehearsing for weeks to present an afternoon of outstanding, high-quality entertainment at an affordable price for the residents of Sylacauga and surrounding communities that indeed will help “wrap” the foster children in Talladega County “in love.”  According to Sumners, her dream is finally coming to fruition.  At one of the first rehearsals, one of the six orphans jumped up and down and loudly proclaimed, “I feel like I’m part of something that will be historical!”  It indeed will be!

Don’t miss being part of the 2nd Annual presentation of Christmas Angels.  Kick off your holiday celebrations this Sunday, November 15th at 2:00 p.m.  Tickets may be purchased in advanced at Southern Dance and Performing Arts Company, 109 N. Broadway Avenue, Sylacauga, by calling (256) 245-1669, or by email at [email protected].  Advance tickets are $10 or at the door for $15.

The following precautionary measures COVID-19 measures have been put in place this year for the health of the audience and the dancers:

  • Seating capacity limited to 50%.
  • Following Gov. Ivey’s mandate and Sylacauga City Schools regulation, attendees are asked to wear a mask at all times.
  • Every other row will be left empty and at least two empty seats between each family/group.

Southern Dance & Performing Arts, as a program of SAFE, is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to creating a solid & focused experience for each student – on & off stage – providing unique performing arts programs.  Classes are offered in ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, lyrical, hip-hop, and musical theatre.

The goal is to promote a hands-on experience in the arts, to all children, regardless of race, age, income or level of experience. If you are interested in making a donation or if your child is interested in registering for classes please contact Southern Dance and Performing Arts at (256) 245-1669 or by email at [email protected].

Registration information is also available at sdpac.net. This project been made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.


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