Press-Republican

February 2, 2014

Local stars to perform in Super Bowl halftime show

Local dancers chosen to be a part of Super Bowl show

By JOE LoTEMPLIO
Press-Republican

---- —  PLATTSBURGH — Locals watching the Super Bowl halftime show might catch a glimpse of one of their neighbors.

“I am extremely excited and am so looking forward to this,” said Sabrina Bruno, one of four local teens who will be performing in the halftime show. “It is going to great.”

Bruno and fellow dancers Amanda Plessis-Belair, 18, of Peru; Maya Browne, 17, of Plattsburgh; and Arianna Hicks, 17, of Beekmantown have been chosen to be part of the much-anticipated halftime show featuring international recording stars Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

CALL FROM NYC

The girls got their break through their dance teacher, Heather Van Arsdel, who owns and operates Center Stage Dance Studio in Plattsburgh.

Van Arsdel, a former WPTZ reporter who also spent several years as a New York Knicks City Dancer, received a call from one of her dance associates in New York asking if she would be interested in taking part in the halftime show of Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks will face off in the contest, with kickoff at 6:25 p.m. Sunday, with TV broadcast on Fox.

ON THE FIELD

“I asked her if I could bring some of my students, and she had me send her head shots of the girls and their dance resumes, and they were accepted,” Van Arsdel said.

The halftime show is a big secret kept by the National Football League, so before they left, Van Arsdel and the girls did not know exactly what they would be doing. They found two weeks ago when they attended practices in the metropolitan area.

“Our part could be very minimal; we don’t really know yet,” Van Arsdel said a week before the big game. “But just being on the field for halftime will be very cool.”

‘THRILLED’

Bruno could not contain herself.

“I’m a little nervous but probably more excited,” she said. “I can’t wait for the rehearsals and the event itself.”

Bruno, a junior at Saranac Central School who has been dancing for four years, is a big Bruno Mars fan, and she hopes to get to meet the star who shares the same name with her.

“That would be so cool,” she said.

“We are thrilled that she is getting this opportunity,” her mom, Deb Bruno, said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and it will be a great experience for her.”

‘BEYOND EXCITED’

Plessis-Belair, a student at CVPH School of Radiology, has been dancing since she was about 2 years old. She has had many great experiences on the dance floor, but this one might top them all.

“I am beyond excited,” she said. “I never expected anything like this.”

In her eyes, Bruno Mars is cool.

“Yeah, I like him. He’s nothing like Enrique Iglesias, but I like him,” she said.

Plessis-Belair has a passion for dancing and teaches 3- and 4-year-olds how to dance at Center Stage, which opened in 2011. She would someday like to own her own studio.

“I just love to dance, and this will be a great experience, and nothing I’ve ever done can compare to this,” she said.

Browne has been dancing since she was 4 and is a huge Bruno Mars fan.

When she found out she was going to be part of the Super Bowl show, she actually shed a few tears.

“It was so exciting,” she said. “We all started texting each other and freaking out.”

The team took part in long rehearsal drills last week to get their moves down pat.

Part of the excitement, Van Arsdel said, is finding out just what they will be doing in the show.

“The halftime show is usually the element of surprise, so we will see,” she said.

Browne can’t wait.

“We’re ready to do whatever it takes.”

Email Joe LoTemplio: jlotemplio@pressrepublican.com

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