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Baker School of Dance recital celebrates 40 years

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GARNER — The Pine Level-based Baker School of Dance will celebrate its 40th anniversary with its annual spring recital, “Top 40 Hits” this Saturday at the Garner Performing Arts Center. Showtimes are set for 2 and 6 p.m.

Tickets are $12 and are available online at until 6 p.m. Friday. Attendees can also purchase tickets at the door before each show.

The annual event is normally held in Johnston Community College’s Paul Johnston Auditorium but was shifted to Garner due to auditorium renovations.

Area high school seniors Haylee Bishop, Haylie Heller, Eleanor Hinnant, Olivia Hobbs, Lauren Lawhon, Peyton Gardner, Mikayla Pope and Kailey Rea along with several dance school alumni, mother-daughter groups and tumblers will be featured in the production, according to director Deborah Baker.

“I am so blessed to have taught and met such wonderful students and their families for the last 40 years and I hope the good lord blesses us with many more years to come,” said Baker. “I have my daughter, Elizabeth, with me at the studio to share our love of dance with all our students.”

“It is bittersweet to have watched our eight seniors grow up in dance,” Baker said. “We have the pleasure of having them for more than one year with some graduating with 15 years of dance and some come back to dance as alumni.”

Baker said a great compliment to the studio is having former students bring their children to dance and having the opportunity for them to dance with each other.