Arts and Entertainment

Award-winning Pacific Ballroom Dance presents ‘Escalade’ on June 4-5

Pacific Ballroom Dance will present “Escalade” on June 4 and 5 at the Auburn Performing Arts Center. Tickets and information: or (253) 939-6524. - Courtesy photo
Pacific Ballroom Dance will present “Escalade” on June 4 and 5 at the Auburn Performing Arts Center. Tickets and information: or (253) 939-6524.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Pacific Ballroom Dance (PBD) is an excellent example of parents working with an arts program. Over a decade ago, PBD was launched as a community organization to provide ballroom dance setting with an emphasis on a positive, artistic, social and athletic experience for age 11-18.

It enables a network of support systems with mentoring instructors, parents and peer groups to nurture interaction in a positive way.

If you have ever had the chance to observe a PBD performance, you’ll see music and dancing that explodes into a realm of dazzling non-stop energy. This atmosphere creates immense intensity in its staging, costuming, subtle dramatic lighting changes, and shimmery visual designs. Everything radiates audiences with amazement and the choreography is meticulously constructed in all dance repertoires.

Heather Longhurst, a development director/instructor at PBD, spoke of life and dance as perpetually intertwined — and of the hard work and dedication of the students. About 50 percent of PBD members are Federal Way students. Federal Way Public Academy students Kendall Hutchins and Brayle Grabel are living proof of how parental involvement enables them to explore and fulfill their dreams.

As PBD prepares for “Escalate” — their weekend program June 4-5 at the Auburn Performance Center — Kendall and Brayle, in addition to going to school, will be rehearsing from 4 to 11 p.m. each night leading up to the shows.

Parents are a large contribution to the organization. They sew, alter, clean and press costumes, apply make-up, pay tuition, sell tickets, advertise, organize cast parties, prepare mailings, monitor fitting rooms, provide stage manager duties, help with props and maintain concession stands. But most of all they drive, drive, drive! To make it easier, they carpool as often as they can to both small and large events, which offer plenty of flash and dazzle in terms of dancing and musical nuance.

Overall, both Kendall and Brayle enjoy every second of their complicated schedules. They love not only the PBD staff support, but also their parents’ dedication in assisting them with the relentless pursuit of their love of dance.

Check it out: June 4 and 5

This award-winning group of dancers will dazzle audiences with their “Escalade” show June 4-5 at the Auburn Performing Arts Center. About half PBD’s 120 dancers come from Federal Way. Shows at 7:30 p.m. are $15, matinee at 2:30 p.m. is $12. Tickets: or (253) 939-6524.

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