By E. Quinn Evans Staff writer
After countless hours of choreographing, rehearsing and fine tuning, Susquehanna Dance Corps will present its 2017 dance showcase on Saturday, April 1 at 4:30 p.m. in Weber Chapel Auditorium.
Over 70 students, ranging in graduation years and majors, have been working together to produce a professional performance with a plethora of dance styles represented.
The president of Susquehanna Dance Corps, junior psychology major Rachel Keegan, revealed that the theme for this year’s showcase is “Raising the Barre.”
After explaining that many things are different from the past year in the group, such as the formation of their executive board and their class selection, Keegan said that she wishes to “take things from before and make them even better.”
Susquehanna Dance Corps is composed of individuals who have had extensive dance experience prior to college as well as those who are entirely new to dancing.
Keegan said, “The momentum of SUDC is to be accepting of everyone and so everyone can have the experience of dance.”
The showcase this year will represent an array of dance styles, from musical theater to hip-hop to ballet to contemporary. There will be group choreographies and solo dances, from intermediate level to advanced.
According to Keegan, this will be a “wide variety show,” as the playlist contains a vast assortment of music genres. “I feel like a proud mama bear,” Keegan said. “I loved watching how much everyone has grown from August until now.”
Though classes did not begin learning choreography until the middle of last semester, Keegan said she has been organizing the event since last May, nearly a full year ago.
Her work began with choosing a date for the showcase and finished with redesigning elaborate programs. She remarked that it has been “a lot of tedious work” but the “amazing experience” makes up for it.
Though she was worried that things would go wrong, she said she is incredibly happy and proud that it has come together so well. Keegan said she has greatly enjoyed being president of the dance corps.
“Dance Corps has made me more passionate about other people’s passions, wanting to support them,” Keegan said. “It’s made my life quite busy but constantly working makes me happy; it keeps you on your toes and there’s never a dull moment.”
This passion that Keegan possesses is evident in many of the dancers and choreographers as well.
Junior Hannah Witt, who is the choreographer of two pieces, one jazz and one contemporary, said, “Becoming a choreographer and being able to watch my work come to life is without a doubt the most incredible thing I have ever experienced.”
Witt served as a member of the executive board as a part of the showcase committee this year and commented how she is “so humbled and blessed that Dance Corps has given [her] the opportunity to share [her] love for the art of dance with others who share that same passion.”
She has been developing her choreography since this past summer. Though she revealed, “These past several months of prepping for showcase have taken a bit of a toll.” Witt said that the “dancers and the excitement and passion that I have for what I do never cease to prevail.”
Junior Marquise Richards also loves the environment of Dance Corps. He said: “The dancers are my favorite part of SUDC. There’s just so much talent, and people are constantly growing within their own bodies and they are finding themselves.”
After choreographing for an advanced hip-hop class, Richards described his inspiration behind the piece as a “fascination with technical dancers and hip-hop dancers. There is a different passion between both groups and the way that they execute my moves are completely different.”
Richards also commented that he finds solace in dance.
He said: “SUDC has become my way to relieve my thoughts. This reminds me to get away from all the meetings, enjoy being in the moment and just remember my passion. It is my favorite way to end my week.”
First-year Angelique Poragratti said that her “experience so far has been amazing” and that she has met “so many new friends, learned so many different things and improved [her] technique and own personal style of dancing.”
While many dancers are only in a couple of classes, many, like Poragratti, are in several.
From hip-hop to pointe to dance team to contemporary, Poragratti has dedicated much of her time to participating in twelve dances.
First-year Alyssa Gehris remarked that her “favorite part of showcase is how exciting the environment is and being able to share it with everyone is a great bonding experience” and that she “can’t wait to show everyone our hard work.”
The 2017 showcase is free, although donations are recommended and appreciated.