I spent this past weekend at my alma mater, Syracuse University, screaming, reminiscing and missing the stage. I’ve anticipated seeing 2008 Danceworks, a student-run dance showcase, since my final bow last year. Marnie, my co-choreographer, and I spent two hours being razzled and dazzled by our old friends and fresh faces. Danceworks isn’t just some dance show. It’s one of the biggest clubs at SU and most widely attended performances. The audition process begins in September and the practices continue until the show in late February/early March.
Last year, Marnie and I picked our 18 dancers (12 girls and 6 guys) from the hundreds of students who auditioned. Tryouts can be vigorous and extremely competitive. But once the choreographers have selected their dancers, the creative juices start flowing and the bodies start moving. As choreographers, we chose and cut the music—a mix of Bodyrockers “I Like the Way” and Bob Sinclair’s “Rock This Party—created the lighting concept and styled the costumes. Our dance emulated a massive dance party at a nightclub, complete with vintage t-shirts, sassy partnering and even a fake “live DJ” on stage. I danced in three other numbers including Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Idioteque” and Britney Spear’s “(I Got that) Boom, Boom.” Because Danceworks dominated our lives last year, we’ve been counting down the days until we could participate in the show again—this time sitting on the other side of the curtain.
It was a bittersweet night for us. We had to hold each other back from running on stage and apologized numerous times for blowing the eardrums of the people in front of us. Overall, we were so proud of what the ’08 cast and choreographers accomplished. The satisfaction of knowing that we took chances on dancers who are now stars helped us let go. Legacies don’t necessarily graduate when you do. So for all those seniors (high school or college) whose final recital with your studio, dance team or theater troupe is approaching—know that when it’s over the beat goes on and you will too.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
When I sit with the soles of my feet together, my knees easily touch the floor, and most exercises to improve turnout are easy for me. But when I'm actually dancing, my turnout is terrible, especially on my standing leg. Why doesn't my flexibility translate to turnout?
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