Emily Preston working with one of the Intermediate ballet class dancers during rehearsals (Photo by Charles Black)
KINGMAN — Emily Preston never had the opportunity to have children of her own.
But that hasn’t stopped her from sharing her love of dance with the young people of Kingman. Preston, 48, a native of London, England, has opened her heart to the area’s children so they can experience the joy of movement.
She, along with Yvonne Cossio, is a co-coordinator of the City of Kingman Parks and Rec Kingman Dance Divas and Crew.
“I was a professional dancer myself,” said Preston. “I was unable to have children of my own, but always loved dance, did it pretty well and wanted to work around children and give back to the community.”
Preston started her dance training in London at the age of eight. She joined a professional traveling musical theater group and had her own competition dance in the U.S. Her groups of dancers will be performing for the public May 18 at Kingman High School, 4182 N. Bank St.
The shows for the intermediate ballet and advanced jazz classes will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m., in the auditorium, and the beginner’s jazz dance show is scheduled for 3-4:15 p.m. there. Tickets for the shows range from $3-5 and can be purchased at the Kingman Parks and Recreation Department main office, 3333 Harrison St.
During a recent rehearsal at the recreation center in Centennial Park, beginning level jazz dancer Ariel Simms, 9, practiced her moves. Ariel said she began dancing when she was about 8 years old and enjoys it.
“I like doing it because it’s fun,” said Ariel. “My favorite part is doing tricks.”
Intermediate ballet class dancer Ryianna Cox, 12, said not only does she get a chance to learn dance moves, she also has made friends. During ballet, Ryianna dipped and twirled as Preston watched her.
“I dance because I want to be graceful and it’s so pretty,” said Ryianna. “The thing I like best is being in the performance and it’s nice to dance with other girls. All of them are my friends because they have been nice to me.”
Preston said the most exciting thing about her role as a dance teacher is seeing the improvement and confidence in each one of her students. She said a good show not only promotes the dance program, but also gives children an opportunity to shine, no matter their age, body type and dance level.
“Lifts are my favorite thing,” said advanced jazz dancer Taylor Davison, 11.
“I hope to inspire others and dancing is a fun pastime. During the performance, I want to show my best ability and how hard I’ve worked.”