Of Moving Colors’ dance concert lets children learn from the professionals

The costumes have arrived, the music is pumping and the dancers are getting ready, even if some are a little nervous.

By Friday, all will come together for Of Moving Colors’ fifth annual Kick It Out dance concert, featuring a cast of both the professional company’s dancers and children.

Eight-year-old Kailey Washington is one of those youngsters, and she’s not going to let a little shyness keep her off the stage this year. She danced here two years ago, but she was too shy to return in 2013. This year, she’s ready.

“I like dancing,” she says. “And my little sister came with me this year.”

Her sister is 6-year-old Kennedi Washington, who is dancing with the 5-7-year-olds, while Kailey is with the 8-10-year-old group dancing to the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.”

It’s a fun song, and the dance has a lot of smart moves.

“I like dancing with a group, and I like seeing my friends,” Kailey says. “My sister is making new friends, too.”

With a 74-member cast of children between 5 and 18 years old, lots of friendships will be made in this production, where the colors are bright and the music is fun.

“All of our costumes will have some kind of red in them, because our theme this year is ‘Color Me Rouge,’ for Baton Rouge,” says Garland Goodwin-Wilson, Of Moving Colors’ artistic director.

The contemporary dance theater company is celebrating its 27th season. “Kick It Out” was added as an annual production five years ago when Wilson realized the holiday season was overbooked with local activities and events.

Of Moving Colors had been staging a Christmas-themed program, but rehearsal time was limited and stress was high.

“So, we decided to wait until after the holidays,” Wilson says. “It’s something that people can look forward to after the craziness of the holidays, and it’s worked out great. It’s a festive experience not only for the children, but for the professional dancers and, obviously, the audience. It’s a nice deviation for us to have an opportunity to present a show of absolute fun.”

This year’s show falls close to Valentine’s Day, when red is the most popular color. And many of the dance numbers are appropriate for a romance-themed holiday, including Dean Martin’s “We Do” and “That’s Amore,” Wanda Jackson’s “Stupid Cupid,” Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” and Harry Connick Jr.’s “A Wink and a Smile.”

And where would romance be without a few from the Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra? Dancers will be hoofing it to his “Cheek to Cheek,” “Come Fly With Me” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.”

And Kailey will be there performing her steps to “I Want You Back.”

She and her fellow kid cast members have been rehearsing since October in Of Moving Colors’ weekly dance camps. The dancing is in addition to her second-grader duties at Brownfields Elementary School, but she doesn’t mind.

“It’s fun,” she says.

But there are times when then the butterflies return.“Thinking about it makes me a little nervous,” she says. “But I won’t let it stop me. I’m glad to be back.”

CAST: Dancers: Amanda Arostegui, Will Bove, Kelly Breaux, Alyseia Darby, Maddie Drago, Stephanie Faucette, Marlon Grigsby, Courtney Landry, Craig Messina, Larry Montelongo, Rebekah Prudhomme, Emily Roy, Muriel Santana, Rebecca Sawyer, Carrie Tatum, Harlee Trautman, Jorge Santana (guest; Singer: Quiana Lynell; Children: Trinity Alexander, Ginny Ard, Lyndl Barrick, Chyna Beaulieu, Makayla Bey, Alyssa Braud, Mekhi Brewer, Savanah Brose, Caliyah Broussard, Olivia Brown, Chloe Bryant, Thuy “Twee” Bui, Lilly Chastain, Reagan Coates, Jules Cristina, Dakota Daniel, Piper Kate Daniel, Na Dia Davis, Adriana de la Fuente, Nicolás de la Fuente, Marisa Drago, Meghan Drago, K’ylen Duhe, Taylor Easley, Jaylah Ennis, Breana Espinoza, Jordyn Fontenot, Aubrey Green, Julia Green, Kerrington Griffin, Kolby Griffin, Maddie Grace Harris, Ruby Henderson, Ani Holowacz, McKenzie Howard, Zykia Howard, Jerenie Jackson, Micah Jones, Raleigh Jones, Caroline Kelly, Kaitlyn Marie Kelly, Lauryn Knight, Allie Landry, Kedrionna Lee, Nyla Lewis, Kelsi Magee, Lily Marcus, Chelsea McBride, Emma Metz, Shannon Murphy, Jaleah Netter, Jayden Netter, Jaylynn Netter, Tayla Oliney, Tevin Oliney, Catherine Rodriquez, Allee Rogers, Elexis Selmon, Emilee Selmon, Ralla Shaw, Michael Sims, Ashlei Smith, Jhayce Smith, Kahlil Smith, Raven Square, Katie Tarver, Alexandra Thibodaux, Gabrielle Thibodeaux, TyreeAnna Thompson, Bethany Tiner, Reanna Townsend, Sarah Tyson, Danielle Vallet, Sierra Victorian, Kailey Washington, Kennedi Washington, Christy Williams, Wilhelmina Wilson; Artistic Director: Garland Goodwin-Wilson.