Inciardi Dance and Kem’s Gym are marking 50 years of teaching dance and gymnastics in Ponca City. To celebrate, Inciardi Dance and Kem’s Gym will present their production titled “What I Did For Love” set for Sunday afternoon, May 21 in the Performing Arts Center on the Northern Oklahoma College campus in Tonkawa with two shows at 1:30 and 5 p.m. There is no cost to the public.
“What I Did For Love” will feature choreography from past years and many former students are coming back to see the Kems. One student is coming from Wisconsin.
Inciardi Dance owner/director Suzanne Kem produced her first show at seven years of age. All the neighborhood kids were organized behind an Army blanket on the clothesline and the show began. She is still creating original productions and her list of credits is long.
She has produced about eight original shows for Conoco with 2,000 attending, two official shows for Ponca City, scholarship shows, fundraisers for the Poncan Theatre, the Iris Festival and many Octoberfest performances. Suzanne was honored with a Gold Star from the state of Oklahoma for a 2007 official 100-year function.
Bill Kem has trained hundreds of cheerleaders. Many were All-Americans and has had cheerleaders at OU, OSU, the University of Arkansas, and most of the regional colleges in Oklahoma. His gymnasts won state individual and group championships and one gymnast went to Nationals in Los Angeles. That same year two other gymnasts competed at Regionals in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Students of the Kems have worked in major shows in Wichita, Oklahoma City, Tokyo, Singapore, Mexico, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and New York City. Cara Kem Cassens, Suzanne’s daughter, toured with two Broadway tours, one under a Tony award nominated director. She is now a guest teacher and choreographer for the studio. Kevin Kem, her son, a former national champion dancer, is a stunt man working in television and film. Kevin gives master classes at the studio.
Suzanne created the original Hi-Stepper prep class and the majority of All-Americans and Captains have come from Inciardi Dance.
Suzanne holds a Theatre degree with teacher certification from Oklahoma State University and has completed graduate work in Radio and Television. She was a featured dancer and choreographer on two World USO tours in college. Suzanne was a member of the OSU Student Entertainers, beginning with them at age 15. She also danced on the college Bell Telephone Hour television show.
After college Suzanne trained in New York City, Boston, and Los Angeles, and danced with the Santa Barbara Ballet Company.
Twelve of Suzanne’s former students were and are university dance majors including Juilliard. One was an All-American college Pom girl and a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. Many of these past students are good friends of Suzanne and keep in contact.
Inciardi Dance and Kem’s Gym teach at 105 East Grand Avenue in a 21,000 square foot air-conditioned building. Applause Apparel, a full pro shop boutique, is housed in the front of the building. Three dance spaces, a full gym, and a kid’s gym are used for instruction. Student-teacher ratio is kept low. All students, no matter the age level, are important to the Kems.
Two years ago the Kems were honored with an award from Main Street for helping and supporting kids. Just recently they received an Exceptional Citizen Award from Eastman National Bank.
“What I Did For Love” says perfectly what the dance studio means to Suzanne. Solo performers include: Kristen Hooper (Miss NOC), Annalaura Vogt, Braley Warnecke, Abby Ramirez, Morgan Schnack, Adalynn Hobbs, Ali Jeffries, Noel Lawver and Kylie Flowers.
Other dancers are: Jessenia Aguilar, Jillian Boynton, Kaleigh Brock, Peyten Norris, Dana Willoughby, Caleb Fueshko, Jordan Parker, Cara Kem Cassens, Landry Baur, Christyona Harland, Ayanna Williams, ReaAnne Williams, Emmie Harnden, Angela Hudelson, Brylen Liberton, Sydney Meeker, Ava O’Neill, Kenley Patison, Kaitlyn Scanlon, and Alyssa Sullivan. Additional performers include: Sophie Fueshko, Ashleigh Jones, Claire Lawver, Megan Malloy, Jason Chen, Adreanna Stephens, Gia Dickinson, Chrislyn Harland, Ashlyn Hoover, Reese Jenkins, Yesenia Menchaca, DeIondra Tobias, Payton Whittington, and Jaycee Williams. Dhruvika Adhikary, Khloe Andrews, Karsyn Hunter, Emily Kleinmann, Zoe McGuire, DeChanda Rogers, Hannah Rose Thomas, Stevie Yinger, Casey Flowers, Morgan Brown, Malorie Prince, and Stormy Stracener. Also included are: Scarlette Cassens, Ellyanna Cole, Payson Crowell, Chloe Culver, Ava Dickinson, Juniper Hanson, Grace Holman, Payten Kienholz, Kynsley Meeker, Makenna Ribordy, Tatum Badley, Lily Bond, Brooklyn Bowling, Charli Evans, River Fields, Karsen Garrett, Gabrielle Holman, Harper Hurst, Adeline Lovell, Zoey Oswalt, Amberlyn Powell, Madeline Ray, and Allys Zanardi.
Team members include Serenity Jones, Sarah Dingus, Landry Baur, Ayanna Williams, ReaAnne Williams, Kylie Flowers, Kira De Noya, Dawn Carson, Kate Free, Kyle King, Abagail Kana, Nevaeh Parent, Khloe Andrews, DeChanda Rogers, Caleb Fueshko, Jordan Parker and Morgan Schnack.
Additional acts in the show will be a featured vocal selection and a dance presented by a number of the dads, which is always a favorite. Bill and Suzanne are busy planning a special surprise for the audience.