Hello out there…We have moved to the Mercer Island Community Center for all Mercerart’s dance classes. We moved before the Winter Concert and “got going”. The concert was on January 11th at the Mercer Island VFW Hall. I chose this venue to commemorate when and where I started teaching on Mercer Island. (that was in 1957). The hall has been restored to fine condition and the concert went smoothly. There’s a memory! Here’s the history..Glenn Hughes was head of the U of W Drama Department when I came to the University. He gave me free UW tuition and a dorm room + free transportation, a complete scholarship with many benefits BUT..I was to do the choreography for the theatres (all 3..The Penthouse, the Playhouse, and the Showboat (on Lake Washington). I was to audition for all shows AND do the choreography for the Music Dept. Well, one day Professor Hughes called me in and said the Sherman Diamond, quote, “Who ran the bank on Mercer Island (Seafirst by the Floating Bridge Inn) was in need of a choreographer. A Mercer Island psychiatrist, Lorraine Milar, had written a musical and I was to go to the M. Is. VFW Hall and do the choreography for her show. I didn’t know where this venue was and I asked Ray Kaltenbach (later to become my husband) where the Hall was located and he said that he would take me there. After the show closed the people in the show and those in the audiences wanted me to come to the hall and teach them and their children to dance! There, you have the history! Sooooo it was fun to return to the place where I started teaching and have this 2015 Winter Concert. “Time goes by so slowly, and time can mean so much” NOW…ONWARD for Mercerart Dance and the dancers in 2015 Ray, as a professional musician himself, reminded me “just now” of an interesting quirk in working with the composer’s music for this show..the composer could only play the black keys of the piano…therefore all of the music was in thekey of Fsharp. All the musicians and singers had to work in this key. However, you can dance in any key. You should have been there.
Het there! You with the stars in your eyes… I hope you all have stars in your eyes! 2015…So far ..so good! I miss all of the previous Mercerart Dance studios, but WE are dancing away at the MICC. Upon entering and exiting the MICC I meet so many people who have taken dance or have children who have taken dance. Amazing! “Life goes by so slowly.and life can mean so much! I have got to get back to NYC Many of my former students live/dance/work there NYC is inviting, always exciting NYC is the place you can score with an ACE You pass the test NYC you’re the best I will always pray That you”ll “show the way”. “I’M IN LOVE WITH You, Honey” You are always worth the time and the money.
Do you know the lyrics…”You gotta have hope. Musn’t sit around and mope” …Well…we danced for an appreciative audience who were definitely “with it”! The surroundings were intimate at the M. Is. Lutheran Church. We presented different dance styles and music and it was fun for all…the dancers and the audience. It is important to me to have even the youngest dancers share thieir dance talents with others. Dance and music are wonderful means of communication. My thanks to the students & their caring parents..getting the dancers out of school, transportation, their support et al. Everyone got what they deserved…the dancers & the City of Hope audience…a great show. Camille
Do you know the lyrics..”You gotta have hope! Musn’t sit around the mope.” Well…we danced for an appreciative audience who definitely was “with it”. The surroundings were intimate at the M.I. Lutheran Church. We presented different dance styles and music and it was fun for all..the dancers and the audience. It is important to me to have, even the youngest dancers, share their love of dance and their dance talents with others. Dance and music are wonderful means of communication. My thanks to my students and their parents….getting the dancers out of school, transportation, their support et al. Everyone got what they deserved.the dancers, and the City of Hope audience…a great show.
Congratulations to all the Mercerart dancers that are with us at our dance classes now being held at the Mercer Island Community Center. This is the start of our 57th year of dance on Mercer Island. Here we go again! It is possible that we are the second oldest existing business on Mercer Island. When we started our dance classes, the shopping center was mostly a cow pasture owned by a dairy. We purchased the property from the Calkins family, one of the Island’s pioneer families. A big beautiful studio was built. After about 10 years of teaching there, crazy things started to happen. The 1-90 highway went over our property. That was our first move. We had to move out of the way of the highway. Our building was moved to get out of the way of the I-90 project and we went back to work teaching. Less than 2 years later, we were required to move again, because the highway needed an exit ramp. So…we had to move and we bought a new piece of property out of the way of the highway. We had a local architect design us a modern studio that looked like the lunar lander of the 1970’s moon shots. We went to the City to get a building permit and the clerk said, “Wait a minute, we just had a meeting with the highway department and your property is going to be part of the North Mercer interchange.” Sooooo we had to buy another piece of property on which we built our 4th studio, and got back to teaching/dancing. We taught there for 16 years and then the government wanted our property again to build the Park and Ride lot! We then moved into the 5th location in 1987…which most of you know to this date. We taught there until we were finally “run-out” not by the Highway Dept., but by exceedingly high land values. As you know, the north-end shopping center has been a boom town. Very large developments are planned for most of the land in the shopping center. Through all of this we have had fabulous support from the dance students and their parents! Many, many talented dancers have gone on to successful careers in dance… On Broadway, Las Vegas, L.A., San Francisco, and more. Many own their own successful dance schools. Thank you, everyone, for your support over the years and we’re looking forward for another “bright” productive year 2014-2015. “You too, can be a star”! With love, as ever,Camille and Ray
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Camille Chrysler’s students are successful from here to Broadway; from regional dance to Joffrey. Her professional full-time teaching and facilities are dedicated to excellence and excitement in dance. Classes for all ages.