"Dance with Me: A Duet," choreographed by Amelia Morris and Angie Nyquist, performed by Kelso Judizewicz and Ella Wayak, represents the relationship between mother and daughter. ((Courtesy Point Dance Ensemble)

Local dance company spotlights collab between indie and pro performers

By Tiffany Kloiber

Two Stevens Point women, each with different abilities, recently partnered on creating dance performances for a local dance company.

Angie Nyquist is a dancer and choreographer. Amelia Morris is a dancer with autism who communicates through dance. The two met four years ago through Morris’ mother, Elizabeth Wellso, at a Community Foundation dinner.

“Amelia clearly loves dancing with Angie, and Angie with Amelia, and they’re always learning from each other,” Wellso said. “Having somebody who grows with you is always good.”

The two have been dancing together since, with Nyquist exploring Morris’s unique movement signature. Nyquist then imparted Morris’s vision to the Point Dance Ensemble, with Morris credited as the co-choreographer on two performances at the company’s annual performance held in early March.

“Amelia is truly the source of the movements, which is why she is listed as the choreographer,” Nyquist said.

Morris and Nyquist created one piece together, called “Dance with Me: A Duet,” performed by Kelso Judizewicz and Ella Wayak. It’s a story about the relationship between Morris and Wellso, Wellso said.

The second piece, “Dance With Me: A Collaboration,” was co-choreographed by Morris, Lydia Baird, and Victoria Franz, and performed by Baird, Franz, Maggie Granger, Addison Hiaks, Kelso Judizewicz, and Ella Wayak.Although Amelia has a select number of disabilities, and she often communicates via dance, Wellso said.

“I think the difficulty with understanding people is, the assumption that what you see is what is there, which is not always the case. It isn’t always representative of everything, you know,” she said. “Everyone has something wonderful to offer the world, and the arts are certainly a great way for people of all abilities to express their talents.”

Morris, 24, dances three times a week, Wellso said, but she isn’t officially connected to any dance company.

“It’s more freeform, everything from hip hop to jazz, and she creates moves of her own. It’s more modern in that way,” Wellso said.

Nyquist, a veteran dancer with more than 25 years of experience, has a lengthy history of working with Point Dance Ensemble, Boys and Girls Club, Arts for All Wisconsin, and Portage County Health and Human Services to bring dance and movement into the lives of individuals with and without disabilities.

Point Dance Ensemble is a pre-professional dance company in Stevens Point for dancers ages 11-18. It serves students from across Portage Co. For more information go to pointdance.org or contact the company via email at [email protected].