The weekend of Mar.15- 17 marked the last show of this academic year for the Alma College Dance Company. The concerts took place in Presbyterian Hall and featured pieces by dance teachers and choreographers Kristen Bennett, Rosely Conz, and Ben Munisteri. Students were also able to choreograph their own pieces to be put in the show.
Dancers and choreographers have been working on this show since the beginning of winter semester. Auditions were held shortly after returning to campus in January, and the pieces created by faculty were put together within that timeframe.
Pieces by select students within the company have been worked on for most of the year, and were also featured in the company’s Student Choreographers Concert, which took place in the beginning of February.
Another piece was initially performed at the American College Dance Association (ACDA) conference, which took place at Wittenberg University, located in Springfield, Ohio.
This being the last show of the year means that is is the last show for the company’s seniors. Senior Maureen Murphy (’19) has been dancing for 15 years.
“This show is kind of bittersweet. I’m so happy that I’ve gotten to dance through college. It’s weird to think that this is my last dance show. I’m excited because it’s going to be a great show, but it doesn’t feel like I’ve been dancing here for four years. It feels like a lot less. I love that it’s brought me a great group of people who I’m going to miss next year. I hope that I’ll be able to come back and see them next year in their shows, though,” said Murphy.
“I’ve been dancing for about 15 years now. It’s just become a part of my life that I can’t imagine living without. I feel like dancing enables those with a soft voice to express [themselves] with their body. Dancing at college gives students a lot of new perspectives in dance as well as a lot of opportunities to develop our skills as both performers and creator,” said Ally Boulware (’20), one of the featured student choreographers.
“The faculty here is extremely supportive and helpful and pushes us to achieve our best,” said Boulware.
“The hardest part about putting the show together [has] definitely been the hours,” said Nicole Yost (‘21).“Anyone who tells you dance is easy is a huge liar. Just imagine having classes all day and then two-hour rehearsals each night, not to mention being able to switch your brain over to dance mode each of those times, even after a rough day.”
Dancers claim that the long hours are worth it. “Dance has been my escape [for] my entire life,” said Yost. “Even over breaks, I find that I slip more than usual because I don’t have that active release, not only body wise, but mentally as well. In one of the pieces that I’m a part of, I connect to the story so well and every time I run it, I am able to get those feelings off my chest more and more.”
“Dance has been a part of my life for so long that it shaped my life and taught me important life lessons. I learned resilience, time management, organization, losing gracefully, and gratitude. Those qualities have carried me far in my life, and will continue to do so,” said Alexandra Mithen (’22).
“I’ve been dancing for 15 years now. I love that I get to keep doing doing something I love. Everyone at my recital senior year was crying because they were done, but I still had four more years! Hopefully I’ll keep dancing throughout my entire life. I also love the thrill of performing onstage and finishing, standing there proud of your performance while the audience screams and cheers,” said Mithen.