Dancing in the Park to celebrate 10th anniversary


Members of Montage Dance Theatre will perform at Dancing in the Park Saturday, at McKee Park in Starkville.

Members of Montage Dance Theatre will perform at Dancing in the Park Saturday, at McKee Park in Starkville. Photo by: Courtesy photo


Kayla Gilmore

Kayla Gilmore



Jan Swoope



Saturday will mark the 10th anniversary of Dancing in the Park at Starkville's McKee Park located at 405 Lynn Lane. The annual celebration of movement and music for all ages and abilities is presented by KMG Creations Dance, Fitness and Production LLC. This free family event from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. will promote disability awareness and honor the memories of organizer Kayla Gilmore's late sister and late niece, Alecia and Brandie Tyler-Gilmore. They lost their lives in a 2007 auto accident.


"Creating this program 10 years ago has been a definite help with coping with the loss of my sister and niece," Gilmore said. "It has also allowed me the opportunity to continue to give back to the community -- a day to celebrate the love of dance for all. ... Whether someone is sitting or standing, a person can enjoy the moment of dancing themselves. I love to see people come together in a positive and creative way."


Saturday activities begin at 9 a.m. with a Disability Awareness Walk, followed by dance performances starting at 10 a.m., said Gilmore. The schedule, as of press time, includes dance by Gilmore, with visual artist Laurie Burton; God's Movement Praise Dance Ministry of Brookhaven (10:30 a.m.); ACPA (10:45); the Starkville/MSU Chinese dance group (11); a cooking demo with Mark Coblentz (11:30); special guests Montage Theatre of Dance from Hinds Community College (11:45); and the Mr. Charles "LaLa" Evans Umbrella Grove line dance (12:30 p.m.).



Montage Theatre of Dance infuses multiple dance genres in its repertoire, including ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, African dance and acrobatics. The dance company will also offer an all-ages general dance workshop Friday, July 26 from 5-6 p.m. at the Starkville Sportsplex. The fee is $5, cash only. Come dressed in dance or exercise attire.


Gilmore said, "We'll have fun booths (at the park Saturday) such as Starkville Area Arts Council, 4-H Controllers, PediaTrust, Kids Therapy Spot, Chillzone, Garry's Balloons, face painting, a photo booth, OCH Regional Medical Center and more."


A free lunch will be available Saturday while food lasts.


The public is invited to a meet-and-greet with Dancing in the Park performers Friday from 8-10 p.m. at the Central Station Grill, 200 S. Montgomery St., in Starkville.


For more information, contact Gilmore at [email protected] or 662-648-7382



Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.


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