From left, Amelia Nealis, Addison Tufts, Madison Crews.

Friends and families filled the Stanley Switlik cafetorium on May 7, eager to watch a host of talented junior dancers in “Small Town, Big Dreams,” Prodigy Dance Center’s recital following its most recent 12-week session of classes. Fifty-two performers from ages 3 to 14 took to the stage for a dozen group and solo numbers, showcasing ballet, tap, jazz and lyrical dance styles.
Co-owned, directed and managed by Maria Banks and Lisa Scobba, Prodigy offers an opportunity for students to receive professional dance instruction at an affordable price through 12-week programs. More information is at

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Alex Rickert made the perfectly natural career progression from dolphin trainer to newspaper editor in 2021 after freelancing for Keys Weekly while working full time at Dolphin Research Center. A resident of Marathon since 2015, he fell in love with the Florida Keys community by helping multiple organizations and friends rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Irma. An avid runner, actor, and spearfisherman, he spends as much of his time outside of work on or under the sea having civil disagreements with sharks.