If you’ve ever been in St. Mary’s Hall the night of a dance show, you would expect to see students filling the seats, lining the aisles, sitting in the window sills and crowding the Hall until students were blocking the doors—but not this year. In compliance with Fire Marshall’s code, the Dance Club executive board issued tickets for this semester’s performances.
With the dance show becoming increasingly popular with each semester, the College’s Dance Club was asked to control how many students were entering St. Mary’s Hall this time around. This semester’s Executive Board issued tickets in the Campus Center during peak dining hours the week of the performances. In their All-Student e-mails, they warned that not picking up a ticket would possibly mean missing the show.
Though some students were turned away, the Dance Club executive board feels confident they did their best in accommodating students while keeping the fire code in mind. “We tried our hardest to make sure the most students could see the show. I’m sure some mistakes could have been made but I think we did our best,” said Dance Club President Maykeyda Hilliard.
By issuing tickets, the Dance Club had to make some sacrifices in terms of reservations for families and community members. “Students weren’t the only ones that couldn’t come to the show, a lot of our family members couldn’t come anymore,” said Hilliard.
Some dancers were skeptical about having tickets for the show. “I think a lot of community members wanted to come and couldn’t get in but I understand it’s a student show,” said choreographer and performer Catherine Meringolo. “I think tickets in combination with something else for next time would be better because there were some kinks to be worked out.”
The issuance of tickets and decreased attendance may have affected the student enthusiasm of most Dance Club performances. During intermission Hilliard explained that normally dancers can hear the audience downstairs in the dressing rooms and asked the audience to get loud so the dancers were excited to perform for them.
“The audience plays a big role in getting the dancers pumped up and it was lacking a little this year,” said former Dance Club President Rachel Flurie.
Aside from issuing tickets, other factors made this semester’s performance unique from others in the past. One of the most obvious differences was the assortment of music selection which ranged from “Witchdoctor” on the Alvin and the Chipmunks Movie Soundtrack to “Glassworks: Floe” by Philip Glass which was almost entirely car noises. “A lot of them were very different from years before and I think they represent the choreographers very well,” said DCB Ricky Ramos.
Along with diversity in music, the wide range of dance styles made the show eclectic. A few choreographers even went as far as using the aisles to create more interaction with the audience. “I think this year we’ve definitely stepped up our game in the creative sense. All the choreographers came up with great ideas and they’ve all ventured out of the box,” said Hilliard.
The audience noticed. “It was probably the best show in my four years here,” said senior Calvin Wise. “It wasn’t very repetitive as I felt it was in years past.”
During intermission, the Dance Club took a non-traditional approach of giving their dancers a break in the middle of the show. The St. Mary’s Step Team performed a short step show to keep the audience’s energy up throughout the performance. “I think people like that short performance before the rest of the show goes on. I’ve heard nothing but compliments about the step team,” said Hilliard.
With every seat in the house taken at all of the shows, the Dance Club performances were undoubtedly a reflection of the hard work of the Executive board, choreographers and dancers.
“All of our dancers have truly made the choreographers’ visions come true about their dances,” said Hilliard. “And I think the audiences enjoyed it and were entertained because there were so many styles – there was something for everyone.”