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Sunday, November 17 News

Dancers from Starr’s Studio to appear on PBS, in Hartford

Five young dancers from Starr’s Studio of Dance in Kent will appear on PBS’ “Celebration of Music” Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m. and at a a special live performance Nov. 3 in Hartford.

Lyra DiCostanzo, 7, Olivia Harrington, 8, Leah Jones, 10, Natalie Rahgo, 7, and Gia Torzilli, 8, were chosen by current dance professionals to become a young dream team called the “SSD Stars” and have already garnered the attention of those in the dance and entertainment industry.

They are taught by Starr Jeffreys, owner of Starr’s Studio of Dance.

The Celebration of Music Live talent event Nov. 3 will be held at 7 p.m. at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford.

Global music sensation Ethan Bortnick will headline the event, capped off with Connecticut’s top youth.

Celebration of Music is a talent search showcasing the best young musical talent across America.

It will feature bands, musicians, singers and dancers.

Audience members will be able to vote, helping determine the winner, who will be announced at the end of the live show.

The Celebration of Music concept was inspired by Ethan Bortnick and his desire to give young musicians the same opportunities PBS afforded him.

As a group, the SSD Stars have worked with acclaimed artists such as Kevin Frey, Katy Tate, Theresa Stone, Bex Robinson, Thomas Vavaro, Lane Napper and Kailyn Rogers and others.

They have entertained hundreds at the Gilmore Girls Fan Fest two years in a row and most recently, danced at Citi Field before a New York Mets home game with the Starr’s Studio of Dance Company.

“I love our studio because the teachers push you to be your best possible self,” Leah said.

Far beyond their credits and accolades, the girls bond on the dance floor.

“I can be myself when I dance,” Lyra said. “And I love learning from the older girls.”

“I get to spend time with my friends and learn new dances,” Natalie said.

The girls chose “The Stars are on Your Side,” as their song.

“I love this dance because I feel very pretty dancing in it,” Olivia said.

Gia’s feelings are similar. “I love how every time I dance this dance, I feel like an angel.”

To view the Celebration of Music Hartford contestants, visit https://celebrationofmusic.com/contestants.

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