December 2, 2020


Underclassmen dance majors embrace performance opportunity

EVAN MUELLER/ The Journal Audrey Simes, a junior dance major, performs the comedic, “Bird in a Gilded Cage.”

Webster University underclassmen dance majors had the opportunity to perform their own choreographed pieces in “Creations: A Student Choreography Showcase.” Students organized the lighting and live music and performed the dances.

The campus show ran for the second year on April 1, in front of more than 60 people. Kameron Saunders, a freshman dance major, constructed the showcase last semester along with Beckah Reed, a professor and dance chair, with the hopes of giving underclassman a chance to perform pieces they created themselves.
Saunders said seniors have the opportunity to create and perform their own pieces as part of their curriculum, but underclassmen do not.

Lorraine Stippec, a sophomore dance major, performed several pieces she and other classmates choreographed together.

“It’s definitely a lot of fun,” Stippec said.

Having performed for “Creations” last semester, she said there is not a lot of competition between the students who perform.

“We’re all really supportive and look forward to feedback from each other,” Stippec said.
Stippec said the practice time for the production varies among students.

KAITLIN DRAKE/ The Journal Abby Ellison and Matthew Schmitz, perform a piece called, “In Your Place” for the dance department’s Creative Showcase.

“(Practicing) can be for a couple of months before the show or to the coming weeks,” Stippec said. “Mine personally wasn’t finished until last night.”
The audience viewed 13 performances, including solo work, duos and a finale featuring eight students. Ballet, interpretive dance and jazz were some of the genres featured.

“They want to dance and express themselves,” Reed said. “Some of them are telling really personal stories (through performance). It’s a safe place to share that.”

Mandy Whaley, a senior dance major, thinks students should take this opportunity to choreograph their own pieces. Whaley wishes she had this chance when she was an underclassman.

“It’s a really good idea for underclassmen to show their creativity,” Whaley said. “It’s a good learning experience for them and to get practice before being a senior.”

The production also served as a fundraiser for the dance department as 33 dance majors will be traveling to Wichita, Kansas for the American College Dance Festival Association. The dancers baked cupcakes and cookies and sold them during the show’s intermission.

Saunders said he was pleased the way the showcase turned out.

“It was exciting,” Saunders said. “Last semester was rough so I’m glad this one went better.”

Reed said there will be a “Creations” showcase once every fall and spring semester.

Share this post