Olé!: Flamenco expert offers dance class before Clayton performance

Famed Flamenco dancer Fanny Ara had Blount County seniors shouting, “olé!” on Tuesday, Feb. 1, when she took time to teach before the Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana performance at the Clayton Center for the Arts. Ara taught a group of seniors in a free class that the dancers offer as part of community outreach.

The fiery Spanish dance was pure enjoyment for the participants, who came after hearing of the class through area retirement centers, senior groups and through Maryville College. Some were newcomers and others had been dancing most of their lives.

Ara took the dancers from beginning to end, teaching them an entire Flamenco dance in steps and bits and pieces. At the end of the class, the dancers put it all together and danced the Flamenco!

Cheri Compton of the Clayton Center said the community outreach programs are an important part of the performances brought to the Clayton Center. Whenever entertainers are willing and can work it into their schedules, the Center personnel work to get the community involved. The next event open for community involvement centers around the Wednesday, March 9, performance of “Comedy of Errors.” The troupe of actors will offer free acting classes on March 9 at the Center, concentrating on performing Shakespeare. To reserve a space in the free class, call Cheri at 865-981-8263.

Next up in the Clayton Center Presents series will have the audience rocking out with “All Shook Up” on Saturday, Feb. 11. A musical, “All Shook Up” features the songs of Tennessee’s own Elvis Presley. The story of a teenage rebel shaking up a small town is told through such numbers as “Jailhouse Rock,” “Hounddog,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Teddy Bear” and many more. The show will be in the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre of The Clayton Center for the Arts, at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 11.

To purchase tickets for any of the Clayton Center performances, call 865-981-8590 or come by the Clayton Center for the Arts box office from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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