Fire takes dance company scenery, props

By Patricia Ann Speelman -

SIDNEY — The Sidney Dance Company (SDC) and Sharon’s School of Dance in Sidney lost its props and scenery to a fire Monday night that destroyed the facility in which they were stored.

“All that beautiful scenery, all the carriages, the castle pieces” are gone, said SDC board member Judy Westerheide.

The blaze was started at 110 N. Ohio Ave. when an alleged drunk driver ran into the building and hit a gas line also destroyed the workshop full of tools and equipment the dance company used for constructing technical elements of the shows it has performed annually for the last 37 years.

The furniture and hand props had been collected for almost four decades by the company, which comprises young dancers who perform several recitals, ballets and musicals each year. The group’s considerable inventory of costumes was impacted by smoke and will have to be dry cleaned.

Students of Sharon’s School of Dance are scheduled to present a recital May 12 at 7 p.m. and May 13 at 2 p.m. in Sidney High School. The fire did not harm the costumes for the recital and it should go on as planned.

“Luckily, recital costumes were at the front of the the building,” said Westerheide.

Smoke did damage dance studios and classrooms. Classes were cancelled, Tuesday.

“People have been wonderful. The Historic Sidney Theatre and the roller rink called to offer space for classes to continue,” Westerheide said. “We’re looking at options.” She suggested that dancers and their parents check the school’s Facebook page for updates about class locations.

The dance company and the ballet school are directed by owner Sharon Eikenberry, of Sidney. She could not assess the cost of the damage until she could meet with an insurance adjuster, she said.

By Patricia Ann Speelman

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.