Every artist needs a start — especially young performers looking to get a foot in the entertainment industry’s door. For 10 talented young dancers from Santa Barbara County, that opportunity is on January 30 at the Teen Dance Star finalists’ showcase at the Lobero Theatre. This program gives young soloists the chance to perform for a panel of celebrity judges from the dance world and TV’s So You Think You Can Dance and compete for a scholarship prize.

Teen Dance Star, the newest addition to the Teen Star franchise, is more than a basic talent show. The participating dancers — Katie Cleek, Lily Connolly, Frankie Harman, Lauren Morrison, Riley Brewer, Grace Quittner, Victoria Biancone, Sarah Block, Sophia Vraciu, and Kailani Cordero — were chosen via open audition; the finalists train with professional dancers as mentors in a challenging but encouraging environment that fosters these youths’ talent to its highest potential. Teen Dance Star features a variety of styles, including tap, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, modern, and flamenco. The work of these soloists, as well as a dynamic group number in the finale, displays the inspiring aptitude of some of the finest teen dancers in the county.

Teen Dance Star emphasizes the importance of an arts education. Beyond offering a scholarship prize to the finalist, the program, in league with the Arts Mentorship Program (AMP), will use the proceeds from the finalists’ showcase to increase access to educational opportunities in the performing arts to underprivileged area children. Executive Producer Joseph Lambert praised the connection between Teen Dance Star and the AMP, noting that the one-on-one guidance offered to the finalists is part of an important support and engagement system that helps up-and-coming dancers hone their craft. It also gives community members the ability to start their children in dance classes at an affordable rate.

Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind opportunity to see the county’s best young dancers perform at an impressive, competitive level. Teen Dance Star takes place Saturday, January 30, at 7 p.m. at the Lobero Theatre (33 E. Canon Perdido St.). For tickets, call the Lobero box office at (805) 963-0761 or email boxoffice@lobero.com.


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