Dancing through history

Shireen Dickson presents Matheny student Jameir Warren-Treadwell with an Okra Dance Company “Guest Performer” ribbon.

So you think you can dance? The New York City-based Okra Dance Company can, and in a special assembly at Matheny, dancers Brian Davis and Shireen Dickson demonstrated dance styles covering almost 400 years of history.

The company performs cultural, educational and interactive programs highlighting the breadth of American dance styles, from folk dances to tap, swing and vaudeville.
Davis and Dickson performed Irish jigs, tap, soft shoe, minuets and swing. There were tributes to vaudeville star Bert Williams and to Earl “Snakehips” Tucker, who popularized a dance known as the “snakehips” in Harlem in the 1920s.

The performance was both educational and entertaining, and the audience at Matheny quickly captured the spirit of the show and savored the experience.

Brian Davis with adult patients Daniel Rushton, left, and Michael Martin.