The Harlem Globetrotters take pride in putting on a good show.
That show will include some local flair on Wednesday night, as the Dance Express Company from Linda Dies Dance Unlimited in Warren will be the featured halftime act for the Globetrotters event at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, N.Y. Dance Express was chosen for the event by Globetrotters' staff over a number of dance squads from all over Pennsylvania and New York.
"(Globetrotters' Ticket Sales Specialist Carl Pavlock) Googled dance companies in the area and said we had the best website and that we seemed like a reliable company," said Linda Dies choreographer Nicole Cunningham. "Everyone is really excited. I'm assuming it will be a pretty big show."
Times Observer photo by Ben Oviatt
Linda Dies Dance Unlimited’s Dance Express Company performs a routine during halftime of the recent CASA Senior Classic at Warren Area High School. Dance Express will be the featured halftime act for the Harlem Globetrotters game Wednesday night at St. Bonaventure University’s Reilly Center in Olean, New York.
"He was hesitant to even call because he thought it might be too far of a drive," added Linda Dies Director Molly Dies. "I called him back within 10 minutes and told him we'd do it. We have such a supportive group of parents, I knew they would be willing to make the drive."
They will perform two dances during a five-minute half-time show, including a large group jazz number with 22 dancers called "Never Gonna Turn You Loose" and "Move It Like This" featuring 31 dancers, and which has not yet been performed in front of a live audience. The dances were choreographed by Dies and Cunningham.
"I think they're nervous and excited, probably more excited," said Dies. "It's such a great opportunity and such a well-known thing. I don't think it's set in yet how big of a deal it is. It will be a great experience."
Dance Express members are: Haeli Augenstein, Francesca Beuger, Allison Blackmon, Taylor Blackmon, Kaitlyn Brown, Sydney Brown, Hailie Cass, Laura Courson, Emma Darling, Sarah Dietsch, Taylor Ellsworth, Adam Flagella, Abby Funari, Jillian Funari, Molly Huey, Savannah Keener, Erica Lucks, Ashlyn McMeans, Brandi Ruhlman, Alyssa Samuelson, Devon Scalise-Franklin, Tina Schuler, Alaina Stewart, and Rachel Walters; and Junior Dance Express members are Hannah Augenstein, Rachael Courson, Rachel Dietsch, Ashley Hoffman, Zoie Olsen, Paige Rafalski, and Marylin Shene.