New College students "Step Up" in the fall Dance Tutorial

Dancing, prancing and entrancing, on Nov. 19 and 20 the New College Dance Tutorial performed an entirely student-run show in the Sainer Auditorium to New College’s student body. The tutorial runs every semester and culminates in a performance showing off the skills and choreographed moves of New College dancers of all different experience levels.

This year, the two-act show featured a variety of dance styles from the swing dance in “Boogie Woogie Swing Time,” to the vogue-inspired “The House of Anti-fashion,” to even the genre-defining dance to a spoken-word piece “Double Rainbow.” Every Dance Tutorial has its own character and is flavored by the students participating.

“They’ve all been really different; I think they really reflect the student body and what people are interested in every semester,” thesis student and Dance Tutorial choreographer Erica Lindegren said.

Lindegren even claimed that one student, in their thesis year, organized a “sperm dance.”

“It was hilarious … everyone dressed all in white with skull caps on and ran down the aisle to meet the egg … it was like a really crazy classical music piece,” she said. “We like lots of humor in our dance tutorials,” she explained.

The humor continued this year with acts like “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” — a fun tribute to the Daft Punk classic song — and “Shower Dance Dankness,” a piece about showering that, according to the program, derived from a “deep metaphysical analysis” on the parasitic qualities of an idea. Students who watched the event had nothing but good things to say:

“I thought it was really fun and entertaining — it balanced light-heartedness with more serious, thought-provoking pieces really well,” first-year Lennon Grimm said. “’Double Rainbow’ made me laugh out loud,” he added, “I would definitely go to the next one.”

“I thought it was great. I really enjoyed seeing everyone express themselves,” first-year Josesphine “Josie” Evans gushed.

“I would like to do Dance Tutorial next semester,” first-year Andy Burt said. “I love dancing and I really wanted to do it this semester but I somehow just missed getting into it.” After seeing the show however, Burt affirmed that the performance strengthened her resolution to get involved, “It looked like it was a lot of fun.”

“Dance Tutorial I think is definitely one of New College’s best events that we put on,” second-year and Dance Tutorial Administrator Rachel Weisman said. “And since we don’t really have a dance department, we’re really trying to give as many opportunities to people to dance.”

Students get full credit for the Dance Tutorial if they perform in at least three pieces although many join by their own volition:

“I’m not getting any credit for being in Dance Tutorial,” Lindegren said. “I’ve actually never done it [gotten credit] which is really silly because last year I was definitely in three pieces.”

Many students enjoy the work without credit simply to display their artistic abilities in a public performance.

“I think it’s really impressive the amount of talent New College [has] and what they manage to put together with like no budget,” Lindegren said.

The students’ costumes, props and other things are not funded by the school, making the quality of the show almost completely dependent upon the students’ own will and personal effort.

“Right now we’re just sort of combining our wardrobes and raiding Good Will. In the past we used to get money from the SAC [Student Allocation Committee] to help fund dance costumes and had a costume wardrobe. But they made it a lot harder for us to get funding for that,” Lindegren said.

Nevertheless, the Dance Tutorial was a success and administrators were even forced to turn people away during the show’s first performance when the auditorium ran out of seats.

“I think it shaped up really well; I’m really proud of the way it turned out,” Weisman said.

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