Anna-Catherine Kueng ~ Assistant Editor
The Dance Works Fall Showcase will be held on Nov. 14 beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Dillard Theatre at the University of Lynchburg.
Samantha Jones, one of the captains for Dance Works said, “The showcase will be about 15 dances long. The dances are choreographed by our team members as well as a few pieces choreographed by our director. We have all styles of dance this year including upbeat jazz pieces, slow lyrical pieces, and even pieces to no sound at all.”
Rebecca Parks, one of the dancers, added, “[At the showcase], it will be very interesting seeing the different techniques. It is also interesting because there is a lot of student choreography. Being part of Dance Works, you always are in two pieces guaranteed. There is our company piece that is created by our director and we practice that in class, and then we also have class pieces, so the freshmen have a dance, sophomores, juniors, seniors. That is really cool because there are choreographers for each class piece, like I am choreographing the seniors, but it is collaborative so the seniors have a say in what they want to do. All of the other pieces are practiced outside of our normal rehearsal time. It is really cool seeing the student choreography and the different styles.”
Jones has been a part of Dance Works for all four of her years at U of L. She described, “Dance Works is a group of about 20 people who enjoy the art of movement. We have dancers who have danced for 18 years and people who have never danced on a team before. We like to challenge expectations of what dance is and we believe that everyone can dance and our dance never ends.”
Parks said, “It is a dance company that is open to all students here if they audition. It is open to all levels and all styles of dance preference. We get together for two days a week for two hours, and sometimes we will do different technique classes whether that is like tap or ballet. We also prepare for our fall showcase. We will prepare some of our actual routines for that.”
Parks has been involved with Dance Works since last year. She explained, “I danced when I was younger. I started when I was 3, but I stopped at like 5th grade. I was really excited [to hear about Dance Works] and I auditioned. I loved it because it was so welcome to all levels of experience. There are some people that have been dancing their whole lives and then there are other people, like me, who have not done it in awhile and they are totally new to it and want to get into it, so I like that it is really accepting of all levels.”
According to Jones, the team has been rehearsing since the first week of classes for the fall showcase.
“Our fall showcase is much more laid back than our showcase in the spring. We have very minimal lighting and costumes and use the fall as a way to show the school what we are working on. We are very grateful for the use of the space for one night in between performances with the theater department,” explained Jones.
Parks added, “The fall showcase is more minimal and we just have basic lights up, lights down. We do not have a lot of effects and we do not have very big costumes. It is more just like bring what is from your closet, you know the choreographers decide what they want, if it is all black or something like that. The spring showcase is exciting because we go all out with costumes and props. There are going to be some props I think this time, but more lighting effects from the technical theatre people, who are awesome and they help us so much. The spring showcase is also exciting because we perform three nights. The fall showcase is only for one night.”
If you are interested in attending the Dance Works Fall Showcase, it is free and tickets are not required.
“It is going to be a really fun night…just to see your fellow classmates dance, and even if you do not like to dance yourself, it is still fun to watch,” said Parks.
Jones added, “I think people should come see our showcase because it truly is a fun experience. Dance as an artform can be used to communicate so many different things and I think we do that as a company very well.”