The lights dimmed signaling to the audience to quiet down. The room was thick with anticipation. Then the first group took the stage to perform “Heart Attack” by LOONA/Chuu and the room erupted in shouting and applause instantly. This set the precedence for the night where the audience expressed their love of the routines to the dancers.
“My favorite part of Dance Collective is without a doubt how welcoming and supportive the dancers are,” thesis student and Dance Collective choreographer Roxie Kennedy said in an email interview. “I came to this school with no dance experience and never considered myself a dancer, yet I was still encouraged to join and have fun.”
While Kennedy claims she has never been able to do “wild flips and drops” the support and compliments she has received from her peers has made her feel “part of the group.” She states that every semester there is a strong feeling of acceptance in the community.
The Dance Collective showcase is a New College tradition that signals the end of the semester. Students come to the showcase to cheer on their peers, celebrate the end of the semester and release their stress at this fun community event. Dance Collective’s fall 2018 showcase was held on Friday, Nov. 30 and Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. in the Sainer Pavilion.
The program included 14 dances that focused on a wide variety of style and music genres. The setlist was as follows (in order of the dance numbers): “Heart Attack” adapted by Kennedy and thesis student Eugenia Titterington, “Chun-Li” choreographed by second-year Agnes Bartha, “Open Water Reckless Fishes” choreographed by third-year Arianna Rodriguez, “Mi Cama” adapted by thesis student Matthew Bocanumenth, “I’m Going to Find the Exit” choreographed by Faith Benamy, “Daichovo” choreographed by Neli Daskalova, “God is a Woman” adapted by third-year Karla Alonso, “Lemon” adapted by third-years Kristen Patterson, Rain Kwan and Melissa Simmons, “Amelie” adapted by first-year Phoenix Kadzis, “Mysterious” adapted by third-year Maya Holt-Teza, “Buttons” adapted by third-year Alyssa Borgschulte, “Fearless” adapted by second-year Kira Schenker, “Smoking Section” choreographed by Rodriguez and “DNA” restaged by Titterington.
Students involved in Dance Collective spend countless hours each semester learning and perfecting their routines for the two-day performance. Borgschulte, Holt-Teza, Bartha and Alonso were the admins for this semester’s Dance Collective.
“Choreographers volunteer because they want to teach people a piece which they either saw and liked enough to spend all semester working on or want to make original choreography to a song,” Bartha said in an email interview. “Dance Collective is all about amateurs doing what they want and love, so anyone can choreograph as long as they have the grit to keep practices going and dancers excited.”
Bartha emphasizes that anyone can join regardless of experience as she had quit formally dancing around eight years old but continues to dance in informal settings, such as the grocery store or walking her dog.
Professor of Philosophy April Flakne sponsors the Dance Collective tutorial. In order to receive credit for the tutorial students must email her ahead of time, dance in the collective, choreograph a routine and keep a journal that shows progress being made.
“I love that it is all-inclusive and anyone can do it,” Borgschulte said in an email interview. “We try to celebrate each other and have fun.”
Borgschulte states that she “grew up dancing” so the collective provides a way for her to “bring that passion back to life.” She has danced in the collective since her first semester at New College.
“Dancers, choreographers and admins are more than willing to work with someone to achieve their goals,” Borgschulte said.
Dance Collective is offered each semester for those who missed it this fall or would like to participate in the future.