A night of plies and hoorays: Dance Collective

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The anticipation was palpable in the room. There is magic and mystery in the moments before a show, when an auditorium is pitch black and all one can do is wait for whatever comes next.What followed was a crowd-pleaser, as the shows always are.

The Dance Collective’s Fall and Spring Showcases are a sure-fire sign that the semester is coming to a close. This past Friday and Saturday, May 5 and 6, students gathered in the Sainer Pavilion auditorium to unwind from their academic stresses and cheer on their friends as they performed numbers they have been working on all semester.

Dance Collective is a student-led tutorial sponsored by Professor of Philosophy, April Flakne. Students have the freedom to control every aspect of their dance, from creating their own choreography to choosing the music and costumes. It is open to all levels of dancers, from those who have never been in a choreographed dance before to those who have been dancing since they were five years old.

“I like that it’s open to people that don’t dance seriously,” thesis student Eliza Fixler, who performed  in“Hobgoblin,” adapted by Cayli Caruso, said. “I would never volunteer myself to dance in public outside of a setting like this. It feels so comfortable and welcoming and open to silly, cute experimental stuff. I love dancing and watching my friends perform and it feels like the easiest and most fun way to do those things as someone who doesn’t have a real background in dancing.”

The Spring showcase featured a variety of dance styles such as jazz, hip-hop, modern, tap and K-pop. There were 17 dances in total with an intermission halfway through the night. Dance Collective showcases the talent and creativity of students at New College in a way distinct from academic venues.

“I joined because I wanted a place I could express myself through choreography and dance with people who were willing to create with me and put a lot of work into a dance,” third-year, Eugenia Quintanilla, a member of Dance Collective since Fall 2014 and Dance Collective Admin since Spring 2015, said in an e-mail interview.I love dance collective because of the variety and diversity that the students bring every semester […] I stayed because of how rewarding being around a great group of dancers was every semester. I definitely think Dance Collective creates a solid community every semester, even though few things stay constant, it’s always so beautiful to see everyone bow and receive recognition for the weeks of work they’ve put into their performances.”

Matthew Bocanumenth, a Dance Collective Admin since Fall 2016, added in an e-mail interview: “I love the sense of community fostered by the choreographers and dancers in Dance Collective. After a long day of class, it is exciting to be able to meet up with other people who are just as driven to create such beautiful pieces. Dance Collective has taught me to liberate myself, to be proud of my talents and to convey my emotions to an audience.”

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