Home community Twins steal the show in Irish dance ‘Annie’ production

Twins steal the show in Irish dance ‘Annie’ production

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Maddie Rynearson as Annie and Cora Ence as Daddy Warbucks. Photo credit to Nathan Manwaring

by Christy Dorrity

The Legacy Irish Dance Company performed Annie, an Irish dance adaptation, at Ogden High School on Saturday, Nov. 21. Talented dancers from the Layton and Mountain Green-based dance company presented choreography set to the original 1984 movie soundtrack of Annie. The auditorium in Ogden High School was filled with parents and members of the community who cheered on the dancers—from the tiniest orphans and movie stars, to beloved characters such as Annie, Mrs. Hannigan and Daddy Warbucks.

Nine-year-old twin sisters Maddie and Bella Rynearson were both cast as the lead role of Annie. The unique choice of having twins share the role opened up opportunities in the show that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.

“I’m happy about it,” Bella Rynearson said. “If I was dancing it all by myself, I would have to change costumes really fast and learn a lot more.” 

The double role allowed for some impossible costume changes and switches that kept the audience guessing until both sisters came out for their bows. “They were surprised!” Maddie Rynearson says.

The dance production was choreographed and directed by Victoria Tanner and Christy Dorrity, owners of Legacy Irish Dance Company. The school recently opened a new location that serves dancers from Mountain Green and Morgan.

Mountain Green resident Olivia Farmer is one of the first to attend the new location. “I love being able to see how contemporary and traditional steps combine to make something awesome and fun,” Farmer says.

Colorful costumes and vibrant backgrounds set the stage for the full-length production. The little dancers enjoyed getting ready in costumes and makeup.

“My favorite thing about Annie was being with my friends and having fun while practicing,” says 9-year-old McKenzie Craynor (Sandy, the dog).

Matthew Ence, whose daughter, Cora, played the role of Daddy Warbucks, said that the fun of the show was infectious. “Everyone on stage, from the youngest dancers to the champs, seemed to be having the time of their lives.”

The Irish dancers, who compete as well as perform, look forward to dancing onstage. “Being a part of Annie has shaped me into who I am today,” says Emma Lamborn (Mrs. Hannigan). “I am more outgoing, have better stage presence, and more fun with dancing.”

Olivia Manwill (Grace) says that performing onstage helps her feel more comfortable in competitions.

Dancing isn’t just about technique for the performance- and competition-based dance school, it’s about giving to the community and building the dancers’ confidence. The company puts on a unique performance each fall that blends Irish dancing with a full-length production.

“The dancers get to do something different and exciting,” says Tanner. “It pushes them out of their comfort zones, and helps them become better dancers.”

Bella and Maddie are learning these life lessons along with the other dancers. “I have learned that the more you practice, the better you get at it,” Bella says.

Maddie echoes her sister, “If you work hard, then you have a fun show to look forward to.”

Legacy Irish Dance Company is currently open for enrollment in Mountain Green and Layton. For more information, go to www.legacyirish.com or call Christy at 801-309-7357.

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