Mar-Le-Nie dancers showcased at Wilson

Mar-Le-Nie Dance Studio hosted a winter showcase extravaganza at Wilson College last Saturday featuring a variety of holiday-themed numbers.

Charlotte Hafer founded the non-profit dance studio in the late 1970’s. She is lovingly referred to by today’s students and staff as “Miss Charlotte.”

As over 50 dancers took the stage, Hafer watched from the wings.

The dancers and their families spent countless hours over the weekend transforming Wilson’s Laird Hall into a winter wonderland. Their efforts included a display of over 400 balloons that framed the stage.

The dancers performed holiday-themed dances in a variety of styles including, tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, and hip hop. The students began their dance session last September and got straight to work on their holiday dances.

“These kids poured their hearts and souls into their dances,” said Administrative Director and Instructor Corey Fake. “e are so proud of them for showing up and working as hard as they did”

READ: The Nutcracker: Local talent at the Capitol Theatre

The magic of dance

Local sports photographer Jim Doyle was present at the event to capture some of these magic moments.


Doyle has photographed for Mar-Le-Nie at other events as well and enjoys capturing the tiny details and interactions among dancers.

Over 150 people attended the performance. At $5 a ticket, it is one of the largest fundraisers in Mar-Le-Nie history.

Mar-Le-Nie is Franklin County’s oldest non-profit dance studio. It has been in operation for more than 40 years with dance alumni who have been on Broadway, dance professionals, dance teachers and studio owners.

The studio also gives students exposure to vocal and theatrical training. Mar-Le-Nie Dance Studio currently enrolls dancers ranging from 3 to 18 years of age. Classes are also available for adults.

Most recently, a national competition named Hafer “Broadway’s Biggest Fan.”

The dancers will have a break until the New Year to rest up and enjoy time with their families, according to Administrative Dorector Corey Dake.

The new dance session beginning Jan. 3 welcomes back dancers from the showcase, but also welcomes brand new students. See more about the dance studio at Mar-Le-Nie’s website.

READ: Glee Club winter concert

[Featured image shows Mar-Le-Nie dancers during their Winter Showcase at Wilson College’s Laird Hall last weekend. All photos in this story were taken by local photographer Jim Doyle.}