Dance Alabama showcases student choreography

Natalie Bonner, Copy Editor

Dance Alabama’s semesterly student-led dance concert will be held this week, from March 30 through April 2, in the English Building’s Dance Theatre.

The showcase will feature 26 dance works, each choreographed by a student member of the organization, with styles ranging from classical ballet to hip-hop, and even traditional Irish dancing.

The organization will perform four shows, from Wednesday, March 30, through Saturday, April 2. Each show will run for 90 minutes with a 10- to 15-minute intermission.

Tickets cost $14 for UA students and $17 for faculty and staff and can be purchased through the University’s ticket office website.

Dance Alabama’s faculty adviser, Aidan Nettles, said there will be at least 150 students participating in the creation of the show as dancers, choreographers, executive board members and crew members, making this show the largest yet.

Dancers and choreographers do not have to be majoring in dance, although choreographers are required to have taken Choreography 1, which is a required class in the dance major. Dancers can perform in up to two works.

Nettles said that while faculty members such as her oversee the production process of the concert, the students are the ones who bring it to fruition.

“I take very little credit for anything. They are the ones that are really hands-on-the-ground, working,” Nettles said.

Student choreographers are tasked with not only creating their work to be performed, but also holding auditions, casting dancers in their pieces and going through an adjudication process in which judges decide which pieces will make it into the concert.

Nettles said the 26 works in the concert were selected from a group of 35 auditioned pieces.

Emma Dean, a senior majoring in dance and the vice president for Dance Alabama, has choreographed in past semesters.

“I feel like choreography holds a special place in my heart. I definitely love performing, too. I love both, but every semester, I’m so excited to plan out what I’m doing next semester for choreography,” Dean said.

She said she appreciates the hard work choreographers put in to create the show.

“It takes a lot to choreograph a piece and it’s definitely hard work, so knowing that like 20-ish students did that and are all passionate about this one cause is great,” Dean said.

The organization finds its purpose through creating a supportive environment on campus for those who enjoy dancing, regardless of experience level. Its mission is to foster a creative outlet for students with a common interest in dance and movement arts through performance and service.

“Even though we’re all on such a big campus, Dance Alabama makes it feel small and close-knit, and everyone’s just always so supportive of one another,” Dean said.

Katy Weske, a junior majoring in dance and creative media and the Dance Alabama historian, said the organization has impacted her time at the University.

“I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s something I literally wish I could do for the rest of my life. I always remind myself my days are numbered, because I never want to leave Dance Alabama,” Weske said.

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