Local Dancers Audition for a Chance on the Silver Screen

Bay County will soon serve as the backdrop for an independent film. The movie is East Side Story a re-imagined version of the popular West Side Story - and officials are on the lookout for local talent.

"Dance is my life, I can't say it enough, if I didn't have dance I don't know where I would be," said 16-year-old Nina Salna.

Her words could easily describe many of the auditionees feelings as they prepared to step on stage to audition for a part in the independent film, East Side Story.

For Salna, this audition is a first step. "It's my first professional audition so mom and I were like, 'let's go try it,' it's a good way to start off and I'm really excited to be here."

But for others, this audition has more sentimental value.

"My first professional show was West Side Story in New York City," said auditionee Christopher Dean, "and now here I am, ten years later, auditioning for one of the original cast members."

That cast member, David Winters, is the producer and director of East Side Story, and he's hoping to shed some light on local talent.

"We need a lot of dancers in the movie, probably about 50, 60," Winters said. "We're auditioning here before we go anywhere else to see if we can find local people, cause that's what we want to do, give local people jobs."

Gary Stretch, one of the actors who will be participating in the movie was also on hand at the audition. "I think that it's going to give Panama City an opportunity to - you know - maybe we find a star from here, who knows?"

Auditionees will soon find out if they made the cut and filming is scheduled to begin in early January. Winters held auditions in Tallahassee yesterday and plans to hold more Sunday in Destin.


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