Bunny Seifert spent the first year of her dancing career not dancing.
At age 3, Seifert refused to practice at Candy Apple’s Dance Studio. She would sit on the ground and rebuff any attempts the instructors made to have her jump around the room with them.
But when the first recital came, Seifert joined the other ballet dancers on stage in an orange-and-black tutu and even performed some of the dance moves that she had seen the others practice for so many months. When the other dancers exited, Seifert stayed behind.
“I’m still out there waving at mom and dad, and they finally had to come and drag me off the stage,” she said.
And a dancer was born.
Seifert started competing at age 7 and was eating, sleeping and living dancing by age 10.
“Getting to be on stage and performing in front of an audience a little more was more exciting, more real, than just being in class all day,” she said.
She was named Miss Dance of Ohio 2004 and Most Talented, Teen Miss Dance of Ohio 2000 and Most Talented, Title finalist and Most Talented in Junior and Petite Miss Dance of Ohio, Teen and Miss KAR, Teen and Miss Headliner as well as Dancer of the Year in 2003 and 2004.
Seifert, a 2004 Louisville High School graduate, has studied with guest teachers from around the world, including Canadian Power Dance and the Moscow Ballet Summer Workshop.
Her favorite style of dance continues to be ballet.
“It’s beautiful,” said Seifert whose favorite ballet is “Coppélia.” “It can be fast, it can be slow. It still can be creative, and the costumes are always very pretty.”
At age 19, Seifert took a job with Carnival Cruise Lines, where she danced professionally onboard the ship for two years while sailing to locations such as the Bahamas, St. Martin, St. Thomas, San Juan Grand Cayman, Curaçao.
In 2008, she returned to Stark County—and back to the Candy Apple’s Dance Studio in Jackson Township.
Seifert, who works at the Stark Women’s Center during the day, is now one of the instructors at the dance studio, this year teaching young children in mini-competition as well as beginner-level ballet and tap classes.
“Dancing is like living,” Seifert said. “You can be anything you want to be. Similar to an actor or actress, you can change to fit the part. If you are upset, you can get your emotions out that way. It’s something that you fall in love with.”
Last year, she portrayed Mother Ginger in the dance studio’s “Strolling Nutcracker” where she danced on stilts that were 2 1/2 feet high while wearing an 8-foot-wide dress with eight girls and boys hiding beneath it. The show was so well received the dance studio will perform five shows this year from November 23 to 25 at the Massillon Woman’s Club.
Seifert will not be on stage this year as she’s expecting a little dancer at the end of December.
Local dance performances
Ballet Le Rêve, “Alice in Wonderland,” October 28 at the Canton Palace Theatre.
“Dancing with Canton’s Stars 8,” November 10 at the Canton Palace Theatre.
Candy Apple’s Dance Studio, “The Strolling Nutcracker,” November 23-25 at the Massillon Woman’s Club.
Canton Ballet, “The Nutcracker,” December 7-9 at the Canton Palace Theatre.