Like most great experiences, An Evening of Dance came and went way too quickly. It just seems like yesterday that the dancers and I were exhausted from an all-day tech rehearsal and ready for bed. But I bet I can speak for all of the cast when I say we already miss it. Besides the final performances that everyone sees, there is so much that goes on that no one knows about.
An Evening of Dance is a semester-long process for the dancers and a year-long process for the selected student choreographers.
The choreographers work on creating and editing their pieces in the fall through a research in choreography class, and if their work is selected for Evening, then auditions are held early on in the spring semester for the student works and those created by dance professors.
Even though you audition with other dancers you may know from class, auditions were intimidating. We actually had numbers safety-pinned to our clothes! Each choreographer would come up, teach us a few phrases of movement, and we would have to quickly remember it, and make them our own in about ten minutes.Then another set of movement from a new choreographer, and another. Waiting for that cast sheet to be posted is an anxious day, especially for me as a senior.
I wasn’t even going to be in town the night the sheet was posted. So when I received a phone call from Alex Davis, one of the choreographers, I started to cry. Not only because my dream of performing in An Evening of Dance had finally come true, but it’s not so easy for a dance minor to be able to participate in the show.
With the growing number of dance majors who need performance credits [and I don’t], they are the ones getting into the shows first. I was honored to have been selected and be able to work with all these amazing dancers that were becoming my good friends.
Even if I didn’t know them well before, I know that if I was hurting, physically or emotionally, anyone would have been there for me. If you have an ice pack out, everyone’s asking what’s wrong and if you need anything. If someone even looked like they might be close to crying, there were people there ready to catch your tears–because we knew that best friends aside, we were all in this together, and everyone was supportive.
It became instinct for me to ask anyone how they did once they got off stage during rehearsal or performance time. Because I did care, and I wanted to show them that. If you had a good run, I guarantee at least one person told you that you did a great job.
If you needed the same girl to braid your hair every night, they never complained. If you hurt your foot or ankle like several did, there were people ready to carry you, hug you, bring you ice, whatever you needed before you even had to ask. There was an unspoken understanding about why we were there and what we were trying to accomplish, which resulted in so much giving and support from the dancers and the crew. Every night at the show was a whirlwind.
You arrived around 5 p.m. and didn’t leave until after 9:30 p.m., and it feels like you’re there for less than two hours. Everyone’s playing their favorite music, complementing each other, and warming up wherever there is a little bit of space. For a group of people who are known for the beauty of their physical movement, I was blown away by the inner beauty they shared with me. So if you’ve never been to Evening, I better see you in the audience next year, with me.
Lindsey Arceci can be contacted at