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The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

The Dance Company’s 20th annual Showcase: Riot Rhythms


Once every semester, we all get to play the role of proud parents as we cheer our friends and roommates on and occasionally take their pictures at the dance showcase. The Loyola Dance Company held their 20th annual showcase, “Riot Rhythm” this past weekend in McManus Theater with 10 percent of the ticket sales going to benefit Rendez-Vous Haiti. The show is the product of student-run dance classes and many weeks of hard work this semester. Classes include ballet, hip-hop, tap, jazz, lyrical, musical theater, modern, kickline and Irish dancing.

I attended tDSC_2314he show with one of my roommates who loves this show because, as someone with no dance talent herself, she can just enjoy every dance and does not spend the time critiquing every move the dancers make. She can just enjoy watching how people can move their hips, how high they can kick their legs and how easy they make flips look.

With 36 performances, I cannot possibly recap them all but a few performances have stuck out in my mind. One of the strongest things overall about the dance is the music choices. Dance is a visual art form that is meant to tell a story and music is a large part of that. Whether it was tap dance or ballet, the music spurred the dancers onwards as they captured the emotion of the song.

Whether the dance was emotionally moving like Sophia Bell’s contemporary dance, “Say Something” or more upbeat like the dance crew/ show choir’s performance to “SMS,” choreographed by Amaka Okoronkwo and Intermediate musical theater’s, “Show Me How You Burlesque” choreographed by dance company officer, Symone, Harris, the music worked well with the steps.

“Timber” was choreographed by Kelly Whitfieldtook. She took the classic Irish step dancing, hard shoe and set it to “Timber” providing a surprising juxtaposition between the song and the steps that worked extremely well.

Advanced ballet, choreographed by Megan Gansfuss, performed to The Band Perry’s “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely.” Ballet strikes me as such a sophisticated art form and country music is not always thought of in the same way. The comparison of the grace and beauty of the dancers paired with the vulnerability of the ballad perfectly complimented each other.

“Hi” by the Intermediate modern class, choreographed by Jenn Chase, involved every member of the dance catching and tossing a hat while maintaining their dance steps. No one even dropped the hat or missed a step.

The advanced tap class, choreographed by Katlyn Higgins, danced to “Heartburn” costumed in black pants, black blazers and red tops with sequins. The business style attire really worked for the number and the tap dancers seemed to be a great deal of genuine fun on stage.DSC_2193

The second half of the show opened with the teacher dance, a display of the diverse dancing talents that teachers possess. The dance was set to a compilation of Beyonce’s greatest hits and the teachers donned her famous outfits including the “Single Ladies” leotard, her pregnancy outfits and her “Crazy in Love” white tank top and denim shorts.

Advanced musical theater performed to “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from Hairspray, the perfect song to dance to in Baltimore. Choreographed by dance company officers Aileen Pancoast and Kate O’Brien, the dancers showed off their ’60s style moves and even did a little lip syncing to the song itself.  These girls easily could have been in a production of the show.

While the dance company is usually dominated by girls, there were two males involved this year. Matt Dunbar and Ren Macalalag deserve to be mentioned and remembered not because they are men and not just because their dance to “Motor Pool” was excellent but because of their cheering section. On Friday night, this dance easily brought down the house in terms of applause and cheers.

Closing out the show was the advanced jazz’s performance of “Riot Rhythm” choreographed by dance company officers Karen Perza and Kim Weir. “Riot Rhythm” was the theme of the show and the dancers came out dressed in plaid with bandanas on to close the show on a strong note. As they took their last steps, they fired party poppers into the audience.

The first half of the show closed with the traditional senior dance, a dance that is not as choreographed structured as any of the other dance, but still just as important because it lets the audience know who is graduating and lets all the seniors have a fun moment together at their last few shows.

As a senior, I understand this moment and in a way this article is my own senior dance. I have been the editor of this section for four years and reviewed countless shows, recitals, concerts and plays on this campus. I am well-known at the Boulder and McManus box offices but soon it will be time to hand over the section. This will be my last review for The Greyhound and the moment is bittersweet much like the senior dance for these dancers. While I am glad to be a senior, it is sad to see a part of my life ending. My parting words of wisdom to the Loyola community at large is to go to some of these art events on campus whether it be a play, an exhibit, a show or a concert. Go. The arts are just as important as sports, so go recognize the hard work of your fellow classmates. Be the proud “parents” on this campus and appreciate what people have created.

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The Dance Company’s 20th annual Showcase: Riot Rhythms