Morning News â€” SAMANTHA RICHARDSON
Friday night marked the start of the 22nd annual Western State Dance Competition. Cassandra Nelson, age 9, performs a solo jazz dance in the new gym at Blackfoot High School.
About 600 dancers and their families are in town this weekend for the Western States Dance Classic of the Idaho Invitational Dance Competition at Blackfoot High School and local businesses are happy to see them come. This is the 22nd year for the competition and the third year that it has been held in Blackfoot. Overall, the event draws around 2,000 people to Blackfoot from Southern Idaho and Utah.
The dancers, ranging in age from 2 to 20, come from high schools, middle schools and private dance studios from throughout the region. The dance will be performing dances in hip hop, jazz, lyrical, military, kick, prop and cheer in up to 65 team routines. More than 100 soloists and duets will also be competing. It's estimated that about 20 percent of the dancers are from Bingham County.
"The Greater Blackfoot Chamber of Commerce and its member businesses are happy to see Blackfoot being a host city for events such as this dance competition," said Tish Dahmen, executive director of the Blackfoot Chamber. "We know events like this have a positive impact on the community. Quantifying that impact, however, depends on many factors such as whether or not the gate receipts stay local, if there are on site vendors, costs associated with preparing for the event and the demographic make-up of attendees and participants."
Dahmen said that by doing a bit of research and consulting with regional economist Dan Cravens from the Idaho Department of Labor that the direct economic impact of the two-day dance competition could be as high as $60,000.
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