WC celebrates 50 years of dance with annual performance

edited.DanceConcert_MarkCooley (2)By Julia Clifton

Elm Staff Writer

Quick, joyous tap and slow, graceful contemporary dance were just some of the styles of dance that delighted audiences on Friday and Saturday’s performances of the spring dance concert. The concert celebrated 50 years of dance here at Washington College.

“It is an honor to be here with the students, colleagues, and alumni to celebrate this milestone. I’d also like to give a special thank you to Professor Karen Smith who started the dance program in 1969,” said A. T. Moffett, visiting assistant professor in dance and dance minor director.

At the beginning of each show, the President and Vice President of dance club, seniors Ali Zdrojewski and Allison Wilkins, recognized dance alumni and faculty, also paying special homage to Karen Smith, retired WC dance professor.

The performance incorporated many different varieties of dance in celebration of this year’s significance.

“The diversity of styles commemorates the history and development of dance at [WC]. The idea is a celebration of dance and our shared love for this art. Incorporating a variety of dancers and styles pays homage to each of our individual histories as dancers growing up and our collective dance history at the college,” said sophomore Elizabeth Lilly, one of the student choreographers and a dance club member.

All of the dances featured in this weekend’s performances were choreographed entirely by members of the dance club.

“I think it’s amazing that the show is entirely student-run and student-choreographed because none of us are professionals and we all have a million other obligations but still manage to show incredible dedication to the club, the performance, and each other,” Lilly said.

The dance club is comprised of students with a wide range of dance skills because experience is not required to join.

“I think variety in terms of style and students’ levels of experience is one of the great things that the dance club offers the broader campus community. In the short time I’ve been here, I have seen many students who have never danced before challenging themselves to learn and perform a dance with their peers. I’ve seen what a confidence building experience it can be for students and truly appreciate the wide net that the Dance Club casts,” Professor Moffett said.

While the messages of the dances varied, the dancers conveyed feelings of self-love and joy during their time on the stage. The musical selections also influenced the mood of each dance number.

“Body Love” by Mary Lambert was one of those songs. The song focused on how society harms women by making them believe that what others think of them is most important. The beauty of the dance served to make the song even more striking.

While not all the dances had such a serious message, the passion and dedication of the dancers was present in every dance.

“I’m really grateful for the dance program here and I love shows like this where we can share our hard work with the rest of campus,” Lilly said.

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