Billy Elliot the Musical - November 10 - November 19, 2023

Theatre on Main Street, Inc.


I imagined a Billy Elliot production that would gather our community together and immerse them in the village and people of Northern England, because I believed the story would resonate with our small town and its people.  I wanted to stay true to this vision as well as to the roots of our theatre in creating immersive experiences. Threfore I have in this production, put our audience in the center of the space, and surround them with the characters. The actors and performing spaces envelop the community, enabling audiences to experience 180 degrees of viewing the world of Billy Elliot. Performers use the space in and around the audience and interract with them for key musical numbers while encouraging audience involvement and "solidarity".



I opened Your Dance Closet in this small town in which I have been a resident for over 20 years, in the midst of a pandemic, in August 2020.  Families were separated from each other, people were separated from their schools, places of work, recreational activities, and places of worship. Most had endured economic loss, fear, struggle and illness. As I sat idle for longer hours than I had been accustomed, and felt the impact of separation from all of the communities I thrived in, I imagined a place where patrons would come to an immersive dance studio environment in which to shop, dance and form a community.  Our growing family of parents, dancers, artisits and patrons has expanded over the past three years with dance as the nucleus of this community. 


Billy Elliot's small mining village was hit hard by the Miner's Strike of 1984, much like this community was struck by the effects of the pandemic. Like any small town, there are the haves, and the have nots, and Billy's family is amongst the have nots.  Their financial situation is further exacerbated by the strike, and Billy's family is already struggling with the loss of Billy's mom a few years prior. Each member of the family fights to find their place and role in the aftermath of this tragic situation.  They are disconnected, sad and angry. It is Billy's dream of dancing which brings his community and his family together. Similarly, I have dreamt of dance as a means of drawing people together within an emerging center for performing arts.



In recent years I am pleased to have seen progress in societal acceptance of gender norms in the Hudson Valley, which include increased acceptance of diverse gender identities, a greater emphasis on gender equality, and a growing awareness of the importance of breaking down traditional gender roles.


The story of Billy Elliot resonates personally with me. My son and daughter were raised in Cornwall and both of them studied ballet and dance seriously throughout their school years. They danced in Nutcrackers and other productions alongside one of the original Tony Award winning Billy Elliot's, Kiril Kulish, and my son even sang songs from the show with Kiril while in our car traveling to and from rehearsals and shows. As the mother of a young boy who was pursuing his dream to dance, I witnessed the stereotypes and judgements, bullying and name calling not just from my son's peers, but from parents and teachers as well. As a dancer, dance teacher, dance mom and just regular mom, I personally know the struggle that a boy faces as he treads a path which is counter-culture.  When he was 12 years old, my son begged me to quit ballet, pleading with me to let him try to play soccer instead of lying that he was playing soccer. Before that moment, I had never known that he lied about dance.  It broke my heart, and of course, I let him play soccer. His father passed away when he was a Sophomore in High School, suddenly and unexpectedly, and he did not have time to write him a letter such as Billy's mom writes him in this production. My son has since graduated from college and moved out of Cornwall with his girlfriend, but dapples in dance and theatre as a hobby. Both of my children credit their life in the ballet classroom with their work ethic and desire to excel in everything they do, and we have all benefitted from the communities in which we have belonged as a dancing family.


I leave you with one of my favorite quotes by Ren from the 1984 film, "Footloose", "Ecclesiastes assures us... that there is a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to laugh... and a time to weep. A time to mourn... and there is a time to dance...See, this is our time to dance. It is our way of celebrating life. It's the way it was in the beginning. It's the way it's always been. It's the way it should be now."

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