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Burrell graduate to dance professional jazz piece during annual concert at Pitt

March 31, 2018
Richelle DeBlasio (center) dances to the jazz piece "Crazy Rhythm" during the Pitt Dance Ensemble's winter concert, "Frosty Footsteps." She will perform the same piece this weekend during the ensemble's "Spring in Your Step" concert.

A Burrell High School graduate and former high school dance team captain will show off her dance moves at the upcoming “Spring In Your Step” concert at the University of Pittsburgh.

Richelle DeBlasio, 20, of Oakland will dance the professionally choreographed, collaborative jazz piece “Crazy Rhythm” during the concert, which will take place Friday and Saturday.

“It’s a really fun piece,” said DeBlasio, who has been practicing the piece since September. “It’s meant to celebrate friendships and being together with the people that you love. It’s very energetic, and it’s very celebratory. You can see that in the choreography, but also, as I dance it feels very celebratory and very high energy.”

“Spring in Your Step” is the annual formal dance concert produced by the University of Pittsburgh Dance Ensemble, which performs ballet, tap, jazz and modern dance choreography by students and guests. This year’s show also will include liturgical dance.

DeBlasio, a biological sciences major, has performed with the ensemble for three years and takes classes as a dance minor at the university. She is a graduate of Tony’s Dance Studio in Lower Burrell and was captain of the Burrell High School Dance Team and co-captain of the Burrell High School Drama Club dance troupe.

“Crazy Rhythm” was choreographed by Jessica Marino, one of DeBlasio’s professors, DeBlasio said. She will be dancing with seven other people.

“I’m with a group of people for this, specifically,” DeBlasio said. “We have little sections where we break out and do duets, but it’s pretty much a collaborative piece.”

The concert will take place at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Stephen Foster Memorial Theater. Tickets will be sold at the door for $12 for the general public and $6 for students. Parking is available at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial parking lot.

For more information visit the PDE’s website at pittdanceensemble.com.

Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4702, mczebiniak@tribweb.com, or on Twitter @maddyczebstrib.