Thunderbirds dance to beat in Forest Grove
Camp for high schoolers has been operating at Pacific for four years
Peggy Schlegel of Banks coached high school dance teams for 30 years before she and co-director Betsy Schott took over leadership of the Thunderbirds Dance Camp in the 1980s.
As of this year, the pair has led the summertime dance-skills camp which caters to high school-age dancers for three decades.
Its a great experience, Schlegel said of the camp, which operates on the Forest Grove campus of Pacific University. The kids come to camp as a team but break up into smaller groups by skill level and preference for what they want to learn.
Between 1,100 and 1,200 participants from across Oregon and Washington there are even teens from two schools in Alaska this year flock to the Stoller Center every July to learn the latest dance moves, tumbling sequences and drills, taught by 30 dance teachers. They learn showmanship and how to perform, said Schlegel, whose coaching career spanned 15 years at Clackamas High School, 10 years at Banks High and five years at Forest Grove High.
The Thunderbirds camp started at the University of Portland but moved to Pacific four years ago, she added. Teenage campers come for four-day-long sessions, stay in the dorms and practice routines they present to their parents at the end of their camp time.
We have them dancing at 8 in the morning and we keep them busy all day, said Schlegel.JW_DISQUS_ADD_A_COMMENT