It’s the 25th anniversary of Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance, an intensive musical theatre program that was the brainchild of Richmond lawyer Perry Ehrlich.
“As a parent, I was looking for camps and programs she could participate in and there wasn’t really one to my liking,” Ehrlich recalls of when his daughter expressed an interest in singing and dancing.
So Ehrlich poured his creative energy into Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance, which is operated from the Jewish Community Centre at 41st Avenue and Oak Street in Vancouver, and draws children from across the Lower Mainland, including Richmond.
“It’s an intensive musical theatre program with a focus on developing skills and self esteem but also instilling in each participant core values like commitment and respect and teamwork,” Ehrlich said.
Applications for the program are being accepted until April 1, with auditions starting in the next couple of weeks.
Two sessions of Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance are offered over the summer (July 2 to 25, or Aug. 6 to 29), each comprising 18 days of instruction from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Ehrlich writes a new show almost every year, and this year’s show is entitled Shamilton, a too-good-to-be-true story about a TV show contest in which the first 10 callers are told they’ll get free tickets to see Hamilton.
“Everyone thinks they’re going to see the show on Broadway,” Ehrlich said.
Those interested in auditioning must have some basic skills, including being able to sing confidently and dance with a degree of comfort, he said.
Participants will get three hours of dance classes a day.
A total of 70 people are accepted into the program each year, and the culmination of the program is a two-hour show with 30 choreographed numbers.
Ehrlich said thousands of dollars in financial scholarships are offered, which means no child is turned away because of an inability to pay.
The program costs $850.
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