Campus dance groups showcase talents at exhibition
Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 04:02
When he was younger, senior Chris Carey absolutely hated to dance, he says. Even at an event as festive as a wedding reception, he says he would sit in a corner and completely refuse to budge. This all changed for him four years ago when his older sister dragged him to one of her favorite extracurricular clubs, swing dancing. Not long after that he was hooked, he says.
Carey and the members of the university Swing Dance Club were among the approximately 30 club dancers at the first National Honor Society for Dance Arts presentation called Make the World Dance Sunday at 7 p.m. in Mitchell Hall. This show was the second of a two-part event featuring dancers from a variety of university dance clubs they study. Clubs like the Ballroom Dance Team, University of Delaware Dance Minor, and the Dark Arts Performing Dance Company each performed for a crowd of around 60 people, displaying their favorite moves from the dance forms.
“It was exactly what I expected,” Carey says. “And I liked the space a lot better here than the multipurpose room,” Carey says. “It felt better organized than usual, and I liked the other dance groups that performed.”
Carey, who has participated with the Swing Club at other events, says that Make the World Dance was more performer oriented whereas other the first presentation had more activities for the audience such as booths.
Nasser Alghandi, 19, is an English Language Institute student who says he heard about the event online. After realizing it was about dance and was free, he says he decided to attend with a few of his friends. His favorite dance, he says, was the hip-hop number called “Clique” performed by the Dark Arts Performing Dance Company. Even though he says he was pleased overall by the event, he was a little surprised by the difference between his expectations and the reality. “It was my first time at an event like this, and I guess I expected it to be a little longer and maybe more like a dance competition, with judging from the audience,” Alghandi says.
The type of dances expanded Alghandi’s mind and introduced him to new forms, he says. An interpretive dance allowed him to use his imagination to understand the meaning of the movements, which was a new experience for him, he says.
When senior Jennifer Ryan went to an undergraduate research conference about dance education and first heard about NHSDA, she found her niche and became founder and president of the first chapter of the organization at the university. Ryan says a presentation about the club sparked her interest because she knew NHSDA would give the large number of dancers on campus the chance to add credibility as well as experience to their resumes, because the club gives a certificate to inductees upon graduation.
“It’s a nationally recognized award that’s good for dance professionals and that want something to look good on their resume,” Ryan says.
Ryan says she started the club not only to gain the certificate but also because she thought the school could use more opportunities for dance groups to showcase their talents on campus. The event, which allowed all the dancers to come together and see each other’s skills, also let the workshop attendees from last week’s portion of the event to showcase what they learned.
The last dance of the event called “New Day” had the group come together for one final dance and ended a show that ELI student Ana Cristancho, 23, says she found inspiring.
“I thought that there would be bigger groups of people and a different sort of music, and that it would also be a longer event,” Cirstancho says. “But it was still fun to watch. I would consider joining a club after practicing a little.”
Ryan says she wants this event to run again next year and already has plans for it. She says she hopes later events will have more groups involved and the date of the event will be later in the semester so attendance will have a change to increase.
Overall, she says she is happy with the outcome of this year’s show she and her group have been planning since November.
“Each club had their own performance, and each can see what the other group was doing,” Ryan says. “Hopefully, this group will help give dancers an opportunity to move forward with their dreams.”