Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 10th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Dance Through Time

primemoversLocal movers and shakers bring the evolution of Santa Cruz dance to life on stage

Santa Cruz County is notorious for its lively dance community. From classic ballroom dance to contemporary hip-hop, conventional ballet to daring burlesque, we’ve got it all. But that hasn’t always been the case.

Prior to 1959, there wasn’t a formal dance class to be found in town.

All that changed when Roberta Bristol organized the first dance class at Cabrillo College, which served as a catalyst for the local movement.

In honor of Bristol’s and other movers and shakers’ contributions over the last 50 years to the development of a thriving dance community in Santa Cruz County, the Cabrillo College Dance Department, under the leadership of local luminary Tandy Beal, will present a one-night only event on Friday, Jan. 25, entitled “Prime Movers: Stories & Dances of Santa Cruz, 1959 to Now.”

“This evening will be a kaleidoscopic view of our local history,” says Beal. The renowned choreographer came up with the idea for “Prime Movers” last summer and soon after began reaching out to fellow teachers and performers to participate. Dixie Fun Lee Shulman, founder and director of the Santa Cruz Fringe Festival, was quick to volunteer as co-organizer and publicity director. “I was thrilled that [Beal] asked me to help her,” says Shulman. “I have known about her for decades. She is just a beautiful person inside and out.”

“Prime Movers” offers both the audience and performers an opportunity to witness the evolution of dance in Santa Cruz County as it unfolds on stage through song, choreography, photography and storytelling. “There are many stories, but together we will put together a quilt of the many approaches to dance and its development,” explains Beal. 

Each of the dance instructors who have been invited to choreograph pieces for “Prime Movers”—including Rita Rivera, John and Nancy Lingemann, Elda and Esteban Ortiz, JoAnne Bailey, and many more—will be given a few minutes to present their piece and recount their experiences and contributions to the local community. Featured dances include Mexican Folklórico, modern, Brazilian, tango, and more.

In addition, a timeline will be available in the lobby for audience members to share their own accounts of the local evolution of dance.

In an effort to recognize Cabrillo College’s contribution to dance in Santa Cruz County, all proceeds from “Prime Movers” will be donated to the Cabrillo Dance Scholarship Fund. 

“Dance is clearly one of the key arts in Santa Cruz and the wider world,” says Beal. “It is the way we integrate our mind, spirit and body into a cohesive whole.” 

 “Prime Movers: Stories & Dances of Santa Cruz, 1959 to Now” debuts at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25 at Cabrillo College Crocker Theater, 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos. $17/general, $15/students and senior, $13/with Cabrillo ID. For tickets, visit

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Hot in Here

This ain’t no Burning Man—the MAH’s GLOW festival flames on


Mercury Direct in Libra, Columbus Day, Libra New Moon

Mercury completes its retrograde Friday, poised stationary direct Friday evening at zero degrees Libra. Mercury begins its journey through Libra once again, completing its retrograde shadow Oct. 12. Things should be a bit less complicated by then. Daily life works better, plans move forward, large purchases can be made, and communication eases. Everything on hold during the retrograde is slowly released. Since we eliminated all thoughts and ideas no longer needed (the purpose of Mercury’s retrograde) during the retrograde, we can now gather new information—until the next retrograde occurs on Jan. 5, 2016 (1.3 degrees Aquarius), retrograding back to 15 degrees Capricorn on Jan. 25. It’s good to know beforehand when Mercury will retrograde next—Jan. 5, the day before Epiphany. On Monday is Columbus Day, when the sailor from Genoa arrived in the new lands (Americas), Oct. 12, 1492. This discovery by Columbus was the first encounter of Europeans with Native Americans. Other names for this day are “Discovery Day, Day of the Americas, Cultural Diversity Day, Indigenous People’s Day, and Dia de la Raza.” Italian communities especially celebrate this day. Oct. 12 is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Monday is also the (19 degrees) Libra new moon festival. Libra’s keynote while building the personality is, “Let choice be made.” Libra is the sign of making life choices. Often under great tension of opposing forces seeking harmony and balance. There is a battle between our lower (personality) and higher selves (soul). We are tested and called to cultivate right judgment and love. When we align with the will-to-good, right choice, then right judgment and love/wisdom come forth. Our tasks in Libra. 


The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program


Film, Times & Events: Week of October 9

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


Seoul Food

Santa Cruz’s new Sesame Korean is a great introduction to an ancient culinary tradition


Is there evil in the world?

Yes, some people don’t think right because they have been treated badly. Milo Robbins, Scotts Valley, Second Grade


Dos Aguilas Olive Oil

Aptos company is letting locals pick their own olives in October


What’s your biggest pet peeve?

When people say they’re “going down” somewhere, and they’re actually traveling north. Julia Ragen, Santa Cruz, Psychologist