Before the fall season wraps up, the Alma College Dance Program will be holding its annual Fall Dance Concert in Presbyterian Hall. The concert will display performances from the Alma College Dance Company, Kiltie Dance Company and Dance Team.
“The Fall Dance Concert is a visual demonstration of the dedication and hard work of the dancers on Alma College’s campus. It is run through an incredible collaboration between the dance department, our fantastic tech crew and our phenomenal box office staff,” said Sydney Lopez (’24).
This year, the Fall Dance Concert will be directed by Catherine MacMaster. MacMaster will be replacing the previous director of Theatre and Dance, Ben Munisteri, who retired last year.
“Catherine has been very hands-on. She sits in the booth and assists with lighting cues as where Ben let the tech people do it all,” said Ava Kelly (’25).
The dancers who participate in the concert can put their participation in the event onto their transcript which can be used for future jobs.
“The concert gives students a pre-professional opportunity to hone their performance skills and work with professional choreographers. It also gives Alma College and Gratiot County an opportunity to experience live concert dance,” said Catherine MacMaster, Interim Director of Dance.
This year will be the first time that the Alma College Dance Team will be joining the concert.
“The entire dance team has a piece in the concert for the first time ever, doing a hip-hop-style choreography. Typically, the pieces in dance company only consist of contemporary/modern pieces. For me, it’s really exciting to see the dance team and dance company coming together,” said Zoe Dawson (‘24).
Everyone who is a part of the concert has been working hard to ensure that this year’s program runs smoothly and efficiently.
“We all make the concert run smoothly by doing our part and constantly communicating with each other. Dance is a very collaborative art form, so we all know the importance of working together as a unit, and we all hold each other accountable,” said Dawson.
“It is important to make sure that the dancers feel cared for and supported during the extremely demanding week of the show,” said MacMaster.
Auditions began at the beginning of the school year in August. Once the audition process finished the dancers began to rehearse their pieces the following week.
“The process of auditioning is pretty relaxed, as everyone in the dance company is very tight-knit so it is not intimidating at all, as opposed to other dance or theatre auditions,” said Dawson.
“We students do our best to support each other because we are all there for the same reason: we love to dance,” said Kelly.
Unlike the Spring Dance Concert, the Fall Concert is not choreographed by the students. Five choreographers: Catherine MacMaster, Laura Halzack, Lynn Bowman, Tracy Burton and Allie Murad have designed the various dances that will be shown throughout the concert.
“There are no student-choreographed pieces for the Fall Dance Concert, but we have weekly rehearsals for faculty and an intense week-long residency with our guest artist, Laura Halzack,” said Dawson.
The Fall Dance Concert performances are set for Nov. 3 to Nov. 5. Tickets are available on the Alma College website.
“I truly believe dancers are some of the hardest workers you will ever meet, and often it is part of our job to make it look easy. Come see for yourself,” said MacMaster.