This year's Spring Festival of Dance to be a tribute to the art of teaching

With Broadway songs, excerpts from classic ballets, and the music of Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Coppelia, and Swan Lake - the first act of Judith Svalander School of Ballet's Spring Festival is a 60-minute ride through the dancing dream of a small child, narrated by Robin Irwin, who made this journey from small swan to Broadway and beyond herself!

Over the past 50 years, Svalander has sent over 40 professional dancers out into the world with 15 of them currently performing professionally in dance and theater across the United States and throughout northern Europe.

She has proved that McHenry County is a launchpad and the new crop of up-and-coming artists can be seen on the Woodstock Opera House stage on Saturday, June 3.

The performances at 2 and 7 p.m. features guest vocalists from Woodstock's A Place to Shine Music, Cassandra Vohs- Demann, Darcie Hubber, and Billy Seger.

Vohs-Demann will share a poignant and tender song reflecting the heart and soul of what it means to teach.

The second act features the return of Julie Fiore-Hirsch's exciting, wild, and beautiful Gypsy Fire with 2023 Woodstock Fine Arts Association Scholarship recipients Lillia Kaye of Huntley High School and Daniel Lossev of Prairie Ridge High School.

Arianna Hogue shines as the lead and performs a tender and challenging pas de deux with Lossev. The dynamic cast of gypsies - Antonio Cruz-Urbie, Kathleen Mailey, Emily Quinton, Kathryn Rowley, Maja Tryba, and Ella Weyland bring this gypsy camp to life as younger children dance the role of "fire" with passion and heat.

Lossev is seen again in a passionate pas de deux with Crystal Lake South senior Helena Kucera, along with the rest of the company dancers, in "Aida."

"Set of Three" highlights the powerful, charming and dynamic character work unique to dancers trained at JSSB with pieces that have been performed by generations of JSSB dancers: "The Cakewalk," "Arkansas Traveler," and "Fiddling Around." Kaye returns to the stage in Jane, a piece she choreographed inspired by the book "Jane Eyre."

Don't miss all these seniors before they are off to start their next chapters!

These performances are an opportunity to be introduced to ballet, support art and artists in our community, and see all of what the historic Woodstock Opera House offers from refreshments, history, artwork and coming events. Tickets are $20 and on sale at

The Judith Svalander School of Ballet in Crystal Lake honors the teaching of classical ballet as the premier training of young children beginning with techniques found in the major classical ballet styles of the Italian and French and then, as training advances, the school incorporates the English, Danish (Bournonville), and Russian methods. Additionally, the dancers are trained in Character Dance providing JSSB students with the acting skills to be successful in all the performing arts. This produces well-rounded dancers able to adapt to any style a choreographer, company, show or opera requests.

Learn more at

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.