The calluses and scabs on Olivia Jones’ toes tell the story of long rehearsals and sometimes painful dance maneuvers.
But when the music kicks in and the 21-year-old dancer hits the rubber floor over at the Montana Dance Center, she said the pain subsides.
Jones is the youngest member of the Terpsichore Dance Company. She has studied classical ballet with the School of Classical Ballet since she was a youngster and learned modern dance under Terpsichore founder Ricki Feeley when she was a teenager. Most of the other dancers in Terpsichore are in their 20s and 30s.
“It’s like a bunch of moms,” Jones said. “They take care of me. I learn so much at every rehearsal.”
Terpsichore has expanded to include junior and senior level student dancers. They will perform two combined shows, “Pop Art,” at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Babcock Theatre.
Jones hasn’t totally given up on ballet. She and two other dancers will perform a ballet piece during the showcase on Saturday.
Feeley has many reasons to be excited about this showcase. For the first time, she will incorporate video projection into the performance. Terpsichore will perform a dozen pieces for the “Pop Art” and the other groups — including Motion Arts Dance Company and Elevation Dance Company — will step in with four other pieces.
A rehearsal was held Sunday at Montana Dance Center, 131 Moore Lane. The new center provides more dance space for Terpsichore, who used to rehearse at the School of Classical Ballet space at the YWCA, sometimes at odd hours because studio space was in such demand.
“It’s cozy here,” Feeley said of the new studio, which opened earlier this month. “There’s always room to rehearse so we’re not scratching our heads to find a space to rehearse.”
Krista Marshall, an original member of Terpsichore, said the new studio is spacious with plenty of parking.
“I love it. Walking into the lobby just sets the tone,” Marshall said.
Dancer Hannah Brown, who recently moved back to Billings after attending college in Australia, joined Terpsichore in December. She is student teaching fifth grade at Poly Drive Elementary and spending her evenings rehearsing with Terpsichore.
“I am so excited to perform a piece with my brother Aaron singing and playing guitar,” Brown said.
Feeley said the Billings dance scene continues to grow and many young dancers want to explore different styles of dance.
“We’re seeing more dance companies cropping up that want to do more than just compete,” Feeley said. “They want to perform more and enjoy themselves without worrying about getting a score.”