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Harrison Dancers to Perform in National Festival

A small ensemble will perform a number choreographed by Broadway dancer Ray Mercer.

dancers are preparing to travel to Pennsylvania next month, to perform at the National High School Dance Festival, held March 8-11 at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Gillian Bradley, Lydia Di Iorio, Maurice Dowell, Nadia Weeks, and Breanna Williams will perform a small ensemble piece, Passing Through, choreographed by Ray Mercer, a cast member in the Broadway production of The Lion King. Mercer has worked with the dancers for the last several years, and dance teacher Toi Banks said the piece is "a gift to the dancers". 

"The students performing are students he's worked with since their freshman year," Banks said. "He also selected one freshman (Breanna Williams) to have that experience."

Performing in the gala concert is considered the highest honor for the dancers, Banks said. Passing Through was selected from among 150 works submitted by 57 schools across the United States, Canada, Australia and Bermuda.

Students are also preparing for their annual , held at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 17 in the . The concert will feature dancers from Harrison and High Schools. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Tickets may also be purchased at the Payschools website.

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