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Motivation and dance: Coast 2 Coast tour hits East Helena

Motivation and dance: Coast 2 Coast tour hits East Helena


There were three words the 10- to 12-year-old girls of Performing Arts on Main were supposed to learn Monday. 

Never give up.

The message came from a professional dancer, a radio DJ and a magician from New York City who traveled through East Helena on their 13-day "Coast 2 Coast: Dance Across America" tour from New York to Spokane, Washington.  

"What I hope they get out of it is a new perspective on dance," Becky Helfert Wedll, owner of the East Helena dance studio, said about the visit. 

Before Coast 2 Coast's choreographer Louie Perez taught the eight girls in attendance a new dance, the team told the girls of Perez's story. 

Born in Cuba, Perez and his family immigrated to the United States when he was 10. Young Perez dreamed of dancing but couldn't afford lessons. So he cut a deal with a studio owner to mop the floors in return for lessons. 

The Coast 2 Coast tour, which is now in its second year, is his way of giving back and inspiring the next generation to follow their dreams. 

Jimmy Lyles, a New York radio DJ, played the music for the classes and said he represented dance by playing the music that got people going. 

Illusionist Ryan Dutcher told the girls that he hired dancers for his show and that anyone can pursue the different outlets for dance.

"Anyone?" one of the young girls in the class asked.

"Anyone," Dutcher answered. 

Coast 2 Coast offers scholarships for dance tuition at

Alexander Deedy can be reached at 447-4081 or


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