Behind the dancers

Students present their talent in the 2017 choreography showcase

Dance is a form of expression. Having the ability to not only tell a story, but create is a form of art. In a two-day performance presented on Dec. 7 and 8, Research in Choreography students were able to showcase their creativity through the movement of auditioned dancers.

Brendan Jones / equinox staff

Brendan Jones / equinox staff

Prior to the performance, all 17 choreographers came to the stage for some well-deserved recognition. According to choreography student and junior Jordan Pierce, over the course of 12 weeks, student choreographers spent around 230 hours auditioning dancers, casting, teaching and observing fellow choreographers. The choreographers prided themselves on the fact that they were able to make use of all the dancers who auditioned.

Each dance showcased a style of contemporary motion. Through the students’ expressions and movement, the pieces conveyed messages from heartbreak to hope. First-year Emma Johnson commented on how the portrayal of emotions came across as an audience member. “You could definitely feel the dancers emotions,” she said, and continued to credit the choreographers for their work. “You could feel that the choreographers did a lot of hard work and put time and effort into a lot of them.”

Sophomore Alayna Massie, who performed in the showcase, explained what went into creating the intricate dances. “We’ve been rehearsing since September, three days a week.” Massie also expressed that she is no stranger to dance, having been a dancer for 12 years. Although she has declared her major in chemistry rather than dance, she has still found time to be involved with the KSC dance department.

While the Mabel Brown Room, located in the Lloyd P. Young Student Center, was filled with excited friends and family of the performers, some audience members were just interested in seeing what the dance department had been working on this semester. Johnson explained her reason for coming to see the showcase and said, “I came here just to get out of the dorm and see what was going on. It was something to do.” Although her intention for coming was just a way to get out for the night, Johnson expressed her eminent enjoyment of the show. “I thought it was really good. I think it’s awesome that they did this. I think it’s good they did a two-night thing, because I couldn’t come last night, but I think it’s good that they gave multiple options for a lot of people to come. I’m just very happy that they had a really good turnout, because it seems like all of these students put a lot of effort for it. I’m glad they had a good audience.”

While the choreographers and dancers received a great amount of recognition for the success of the performances, people often forget to give credit to those who help-out backstage. First-year Kiara Byron, who operated the light board on Thursday and Friday, explained the difficulties of working backstage. She said, “What’s most difficult about it is the stress when something goes wrong because you have to find a way to fix it in a very fast way. If you don’t do it fast, the audience catches on to the fact you did something wrong. It’s all about the audience. You’re trying to make the experience best for the audience.”

The 2017 Choreography Showcase was a successful two-day event for the dance department, filling the Mabel Brown Room both nights.

Erin McNemar can be contacted at

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