Dance group illustrates issue of bullying
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The Splinter Project, a group of dancers at Sequim’s Aspire Academy, are headed for the Neptune Theater in Seattle for a performance this Tuesday, and then back home to dance at the Dungeness River Festival on Sept. 27. The Aspire group includes, from left, Ava Keehn, Robin Campbell, Donika Huls, Allison Van De Wege, Denise Rounsavelle, Alyssa Lowe-Little, Emily Funston, Justice Beitzel, Li Hui-Gordon, Annika Jennings, Jackie Purvis, Kristina Holtrop, Naomi Alstrup, Abby Kuth, Brandyn Boyd and Joy Teel.

By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM — The Splinter Project, a performance dance group based at Sequim’s Aspire Academy of Expressive Arts, is headed for the Neptune Theater in Seattle for a performance — and then coming back home to dance at the Dungeness River Festival later this month.

The group’s eight teenagers and two adults will leap onto the stage at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Neptune, 1303 N.E. 45th St. in Seattle; doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Admission is free to the event, part of Eight Nights at the Neptune, a series “exploring race and social justice,” according to the Neptune website,

The dancers will offer a piece about a social issue they agreed “was very pertinent to their demographic,” said Aspire Dance Artistic Director Brandyn Boyd.

The issue is bullying, and the dance shows the power of a group of peers to overcome a bully’s influence on a teenage girl.

The piece was co-choreographed by Aspire teachers and two of the dancers, Abby Kuth and Kristina Holtrop.

While there’s no charge to see the dancers Tuesday night at the Neptune, patrons can RSVP by visiting and clicking on the Splinter Effect link on the right side of the page.

On Friday, Sept. 27, The Splinter Project dancers will again present their piece on bullying, this time in Sequim.

During the Dungeness River Festival, a celebration of nature and the arts at Railroad Bridge Park, 2151 W. Hendrickson Road, the performers will step onto the amphitheater stage at 3:30 p.m.

Last winter, Boyd connected The Splinter Project dancers with the Splinter Dance Company, a modern dance group based in Seattle.

She’s proud of how far they’ve come.

“The team has been preparing this since April,” she said.

“We debuted the bullying piece at the Beacon Rocks Festival [in Seattle] on July 28, and brought the audience to tears.

“It is very meaningful to us all.”

More about Aspire music and dance classes awaits at The school, off U.S. Highway 101 in Carlsborg at 160 Harrison Road, can be reached at 360-681-3979.


Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at

Last modified: September 15. 2013 6:02PM
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