Featured Heartfelt Performances Dedicated to the Late Co-founder, W. Oliver “Kip” McClendon, Jr. – Family Received Special Proclamation in His Honor
More than 2,000 people ushered in the holiday season this past weekend by attending the annual Christmas production, “This is the Story,” performed by the students and instructors of the legendary McClendon Performing Arts Institute (MPAI). The two-hour, action-packed, and emotionally exhilarating show, was hosted by news anchor Dave Huddleston of WSB-TV, Channel 2. The nearly100 current and a select group of former students, like Shalay Johnson, former principle dancer with Eleone Dance Theater in Philadelphia, delivered technically superb performances throughout the show.
With the October passing of MPAI co-founder, W. Oliver “Kip” McClendon, Jr., this was the first show in the history of MPAI where the tight-knit family-run performing arts institute had to deliver their event without the “rock” of their family, husband to artistic director, Denise McClendon and father to assistant artistic director, Kari McClendon and tap instructor Tre McClendon. David Manuel, executive director of the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts and Community Center presented a proclamation on behalf of DeKalb County CEO, Burrell Ellis and the 700,000 residents of DeKalb County, making December 8, 2012 W. Oliver “Kip” McClendon Day.
“Initially the thought of doing the show without my soul mate, my compass, my husband, my king seemed impossible,”
The student dancers, ages two to adult, delivered performances that showcased their classical and contemporary ballet and tap training, including, but not limited to, a jaw dropping opening heaven scene. Another significant element included songs performed by gospel great, Lydia Pace of “The Anointed Pace Sisters”. The show was also sprinkled with performances by the professional dance instructors, including Tre McClendon (tap) and Tiffany Burgess (hip-hop).
“This year was by far the hardest and most rewarding show because we did it not only for the community we serve but also to honor my father,” said Kari McClendon, assistant artistic director, MPAI “To see our dancers leave everything they had on the floor to give the audience a spectacular show in addition to paying homage to my dad was very touching.”
The McClendon’s have been delivering “This Is The Story” for thirteen years along with nearly 35 years of spring dance shows in an effort to give their students the opportunity to be a part of a professional production for large audiences and build their self-confidence on stage and off. They are seeking sponsors and donors interested in helping MPAI expand their reach to even more youth in the community. For more information about the McClendon Performing Arts Institute, visit www.mcclendonarts.com, their page on Facebook, or call 404/343-0201.
ABOUT THE MCCLENDON PERFORMING ARTS INSTITUTE
Founded by Denise McClendon and the late W. Oliver “Kip” McClendon, the McClendon Performing Arts Institute has been operating for nearly 35 years as a family venture. MPAI uses dance as a fountainhead in a holistically designed curriculum that incorporates dance, music and drama with motivational instruction, and emphasizes academic excellence as well as moral and ethical values.
In addition to its dance specialties for children and adults - classical ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and praise and worship – as well as music and drama lessons, McClendon provides academic tutoring with proven teaching techniques that has helped the Institute mold and develop kids and young adults, while simultaneously building character. The McClendon techniques have played a pivotal role in gaining its students acceptance into the nation's top dance programs such as Alvin Ailey's Dance Theatre at Fordham University and North Carolina School of the Arts, to name just a couple. For more information about the McClendon Performing Arts Institute, visit www.mcclendonarts.com or go to Facebook. Call 404/343-0201 for winter/spring class information or to become a sponsor or make donations for scholarships for students in need.
CAPTION FOR PHOTO: The McClendon family celebrates after the show with (l-r) David Manuel, executive director, Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center, Brandy Miley, assistant to Denise McClendon, Tiffany Burgess, celebrity hip-hop dance instructor, Shalay Johnson, guest choreographer and ballet instructor Denise McClendon, founder and artistic director of the Denise McClendon Performing Dance Company, McClendon School of Dance and McClendon Performing Arts Institute, gospel singer Lydia Pace of the Anointed Pace Sisters, Dave Huddleston, reporter/anchor at WSB-TV, Channel 2, Kari McClendon, assistant artistic director, Tre McClendon, tap instructor, and jazz instructor Chan’nel Johnson.
PRESS CONTACT: Betsy Helgager Hughes, 404/771-9793 (cell), email@example.com