Talented troupe performs at Creative Expressions Camp

A troupe of talented and energetic youngsters gathered to sing, dance, color and create last week.

Gabby Graham, Julie Rodrigue, Carrie Falls, Olivia Crook, and Caitlin Sparks dance a spirited Broadway song.
Gabby Graham, Julie Rodrigue, Carrie Falls, Olivia Crook, and Caitlin Sparks dance a spirited Broadway song.Photo by Sue Austreng

It was the sixth-annual Creative Expressions Camp and more than two dozen children age 6-14 fell under the magical spell of arts and music, thanks to artistic supervision, direction and training provided by a handful of talented local women.

“We always have such a great time with this camp,” said organizer Liz Grefsheim. “It is such a pleasure to work with the staff and a privilege to work with these students and watch them get excited about trying new things.  They have so many wonderful ideas, sometimes we can’t even begin to hear them all.”

In just three and a half days, the 27 youngsters learned the music, learned the dance steps, learned the sign language, and learned to perform a medley of Mary Poppins songs and selections from a Broadway musical – oh, and they made props, sets and scenery for a climactic June 20 evening performance, too.

“Kids are full of creativity … it is our role to continue to challenge that part of the brain and also help them know they have an opinion that is valued,” said Grefsheim.

Grefsheim and Jan Albertson provided lessons in music and singing. (The ladies own and operate Sonsheim Music Studio in Spring Lake Park and in Burnsville.)

Elaine Johnson taught the children sign language. (She is director of childrens ministry at Faith Lutheran Church in Coon Rapids.)

Roberta Puzon showed the youngers some dance steps. (She teaches dance at Anoka Middle School for the Arts.)

Cyndy Nelson helped the children with artwork. (Nelson also serves at Faith Lutheran Church.)

“It’s amazing what (the children) did in a week – and they did it,” said Grefsheim, emphasizing “they.”

“Our goal with tonight’s performance was to share with you the journey we were on this week … All of that exploring with what we call ‘creative expressions’ – in just three days they learned art and dance, signing and songs, they learned to read music, to get into character, they learned dialogue. It was a magical week,” she said after the curtain dropped and the applause from parents and families ceased after the June 20 performance at Epiphany Catholic School.

“This was our sixth year and every year we have so many great kids. This is always so much fun,” Grefsheim said.

Sue Austreng is at
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