As Ron Jones described the finale of a dance the Georgia Dance Stars would perform for the opening ceremonies of the Georgia Games, his voice broke and he paused.
Members of the Augusta Dance Coalition dancers practice for the Georgia Games opening.
Photo by Charmain Z. Brackett
Mariah Carey's song Hero, he told them, would fade, then there would be a tribute to the heroes of Sept. 11. The sound of an airplane would be heard, then the dancers would turn to one another in fear and scatter until they fell to the floor.
Out of the death and destruction would rise an American flag.
He paused for a moment, emotion choking his words.
"Watch us, we are all going to be crying," said Kristen Taylor, a rising freshman at North Augusta High School.
"It's really an emotional piece," said Meredith Tannehill, who will be a freshman at Greenbrier High School in the fall.
Jones is choreographing three songs for the almost 30 dancers from Georgia and South Carolina who are participating in the opening ceremonies of the Georgia Games on Friday at the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center. The dancers are members of the Greater Augusta Dance Coalition.
The Greater Augusta Arts Council asked Jones, who is the artistic director for the Augusta Dance Theatre, to choreograph the numbers several months ago.
He picked out the songs early on. Another song being performed is James Brown's Living in America.
The idea for the choreography came later, he said.
"The dancers' energies ignite the choreography," Jones said.
Many of the dancers come from the Augusta Dance Theatre, a ballet company. The fast-paced hip-hop styles are different for dancers such as Sally Ann McKinsey, a rising freshman at Aiken High School.
"It's not the usual, but it's a lot of fun to dance to," she said.
A pre-opening ceremony expo will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, said Scotty McDuffy, championships manager with the Georgia Games.
The expo will include interactive vendor booths, local sports mascots and other activities.
At 7:30 p.m., the ceremonies will begin. Segments from 8 to 9 p.m. will be televised on WRDW-TV (Channel 12), he said.
The ceremonies will feature the dance stars and performances by the U.S. Army Signal Corps band and local singing group Creative Impressions.
There will be an athletes parade, sports demonstrations and a performance by recording artist Edwin McCain.
McDuffy expects a good turnout for the opening ceremonies.
"We're looking at a capacity crowd," he said.
The opening ceremony is the only ticketed event. Tickets cost $6 for adults and $4 for children before the event, and $8 for adults and $6 for children on the day of the ceremony. Tickets are available at the Georgia Games office at 1454 Greene St. near Enterprise Mill or by calling 278-4TIX (278-4849).
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