Dance Gallery Studio
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Dance Gallery Studio

Interview with Dance Gallery Former Ex-officio Doni Lystra

How did you learn about the organization, and what attracted you to its people and programs?

I knew about the organization when it was founded in 1984 and attended a few performances under the directorship of J.Parker Copley but I didn't get excited about the company until Peter Sparling became the artistic director almost ten years ago. I have always enjoyed contemporary dance and it is very exciting to me because it lends itself to a wealth of interpretations. Peter is such a talented choreographer and I am always impressed with the extraordinary dances he creates and his dedication to the Dance Gallery Foundation.

Do you think Dance Gallery's mission and programs are important to the community? What would Ann Arbor be like without the organization?

Absolutely. I can't imagine Ann Arbor without the Peter Sparling Dance Company and Dance Gallery Studio. The dancers are so dedicated, the performances so exciting and the relationship and respect between Peter and the dancers is so strong. The studio has great instructors and a variety of dance education classes for students of all ages. I am especially excited about the Youth Repertory Dance Group under the directorship of Ruth Leney-Midkiff. Ann Arbor should be very proud to have a company and studio of such high caliber. After all, it is the only professional dance company and not-for-profit dance school in the city.

How have you seen it change over the year, and why do you continue to support it?

With each year the company seems to become more innovative and impressive and the studio continues to grow stronger with increased enrollment in classes and collaborations with the University Musical Society's Education and Audience Development Office. After serving on the Board for six years I find it hard to divorce myself entirely so I continue to help with fundraising events to engender support for PSDC/DGS's new home. I also enjoy working with the dedicated staff - Susan, Holly and Michael and project sharing with board member Jennifer Loud.

Discounts for performances at the Detroit Opera House: Call the office(734.747.8885) for discount code
Educational Outreach Partner University Musical Society