Volunteers seem to be everywhere in The Villages®, from the Elder Helpers who come in to give residents rides or help with cooking, to the dynamic volunteers who run the Mark Twain Library. But one unique volunteer organization here at The Villages wants you to find your inner showstopper and contribute your talents to a unique musical show.
Music in Motion is one of The Villages’ premier performing groups, dazzling audiences every February with a fast-paced Broadway-style musical show that brings the costumes, choreography, and incredible musicianship of the Great White Way right here to one of America’s most unique communities—and it’s all driven by volunteers.
Music in Motion was born in 2008 when a local performing group, Theatrical Variations in Dance, came to an end. Founders Jeanne Krebs and Dianne Bolton didn’t want the show to end, so together they brainstormed Music in Motion as a unique, volunteer-driven performing group that they thought could do an awful lot of good in the community to boot.
“There were so many women who really wanted to stay together, because we had become friends,” Jeanne explains. “We decided to start the groups and just do some small shows to see if we could do it. We must have succeeded, because we have now done 10 shows, and our last one was sold out.”
It took some time for the volunteers to get comfortable in their roles, but Music in Motion has become a remarkably well-oiled machine over the years. Jeanne gravitated to helping dancers perfect their technique and their performance, so she serves as the show’s dance captain as well as organizing the stage during rehearsals and performances, and of course, dancing herself. Dianne tends to a lot of the show’s technical aspects, such as editing musical numbers and managing projections.
Source: Music in Motion Dance Company
The other critical team members behind the show are Music in Motion’s professional choreographers, Jim Caisse and Karen Bouffard. Jim joined the group in its second year, and co-directs the show alone with Dianne, who remembers, “At first we complained that we couldn’t do what Jim wanted us to. Now we can. The dancers wouldn’t look this entertaining without a creative choreographer in charge.”
This year’s musical production was “Broadway with a Twist,” which brought audiences on a whirlwind tour of New York City with songs ranging from “Lullaby of Broadway” to “Uptown Funk.” Jeanne describes the show as a “Dancical,” while Dianne says they’re an extravaganza.
“We go all out with scenery costumes, music and dance,” Dianne explains. “I also like to call our presentations an experience. We take the audience to another place and allow them the experience of flying, or climbing a mountain, or going to the circus.”
Not all of the show’s volunteers are on stage, although singers and dancers are required to audition in front of the show runners and choreographers. However, other volunteer opportunities are always available on the production crew, costume committee and more, doing everything from building scenery and props to publicizing the show.
“We work together,” says Dianne. “Every Music in Motion dancer has another job to help the group function and bring the show to life. They volunteer for what they like to do. That’s our key to success. We involve good people and then let them do their thing.”
But the group’s work doesn’t just benefit residents of our community. Music in Motion donates 20 percent of its profit to local charities including Villagers for Hospice and The Alzheimer’s Association. The troupe has also volunteered for outside events, including the AARP National Convention in Orlando, the Halftime Show at an Orlando Magic basketball game, and local functions like Veterans Day, Saide Hawkins Day, and Christmas tree lighting ceremonies.
Source: Music in Motion Dance Company
The founders also say that coming together to produce a Music in Motion show benefits the troupe as well as their audiences.
“Our members are keeping physically and mentally fit while having fun!” says Jeanne of the volunteer experience. “They are also doing something worthwhile for our community.”
“Our group has become more like a family of Villagers who truly care about each other, have fun together, and work hard to present the highest quality performance we can give,” says Dianne. “It always surprises me, and brings a tear to my eyes, that so many good people give so much of their time to help Music in Motion entertain Villagers.”
Auditions for singers and dancers are traditionally held in March every year, but if you would like to help with sets, props, costumes or other backstage work, feel free to contact Dianne Bolton through the Music in Motion website.
For more information about Music in Motion, visit http://www.musicinmotiondancecompany.com.
The Villages, The Villages Health, America’s Healthiest Hometown, and their associated logos are trademarks of Holding Company of The Villages, Inc., and are used with permission.
Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and it is not meant to be relied on as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult your physician before starting any exercise or dietary program or taking any other action respecting your health. In case of a medical emergency, call 911.
We monitor comments. See guidelines