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The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

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Loyola Dance Company’s “Body Language” Shines at 21st Annual Winter Showcase


This past Sunday, Dec. 6, Loyola’s Dance Company kicked off a lively night of performances to a packed crowd in McManus Theater for their performance “Body Language.” The show was compiled of 27 unique acts that flaunted the hard work and dedication of all of the dancers. Here are some highlights of the eventful and entertaining showcase.

The show opened up with a pointe performance by the talented quartet of Kelsey Davidson, Aneek Halperin, Brianna Velky and Danielle Hahn. The routine to “You and Me” was delicate while also technically sound, as the group impressively pulled off the art of pointe.

The first solo of the night followed quickly after, as Brianna Velky performed stunningly to “Falling Awake.” Velky’s dance told the story of the song beautifully, as she had a commanding presence throughout her showcase.

There would be six more solos during the night, all of which were impressive in their own unique ways. Both senior officers Bri Milke and Symone Harris gave passionate solo performances that impressed the crowd in acts 18 and 20, respectively.

Milke’s performance of “Drowning Shadows” was an extremely graceful yet intense showcase of her talent. She shined with her extensions and floor work, and her regal moves were undeniably worthy of giving the crowd chills. Harris took the stage by storm with “Speaking of Truth.” Her performance was strikingly powerful and technically impressive. The compelling dancer wowed with her perfected spins and a crowd-favorite flip.

The other solo performances included Kathryn Morrison’s “It’s All Coming Back to Me,” a regal and effortless routine that was very fluid and included big jumps and extensions. Matt Dunbar impressed with “No Pressure” as his exaggerated movements and break-dancing moments had the crowd going wild. Wacky Gonzalez also got the crowd pumped with the methodically performed “Glitching Out,” where he started off with robotic movements and then slowed down for a more free-flowing feel.

The last solo of the night featured Mackenzie Simms’s tap performance to “Sexy Plexi.” Simms is always a joy to watch, and this performance was no different as she kept up with the tempo of the song while still looking graceful and at-ease.

There were also two separate duet performances in the showcase, with the first featuring Milke and Harris. This talented pair danced to “Mirrored,” and reflected the songs title in their movements that matched one another in a dramatic and exaggerated fashion.

The next duet was between Velky and Kelsey Reiff to “Whistle,” who took charge of the stage with an upbeat tap performance. Before the lights went on, a member of the crowd yelled out “Divas,” and this proved to be true throughout the routine as the pair showed off their expert control and rhythm.

In terms of group performances, the collection of various hip-hop spots seemed to be a fan-favorite, as “Fetty Remix”, “Snap Crackle Pop,” “The Robbery,” and  “Anaconda” got the crowd engaged with the upbeat dances.

“Snap Crackle Pop” featured the trio of Sierra Burk, Gideon Abadilla and Yao Zhang who had clear star power as they commanded the stage with a sassy, confident performance. This trio did not miss a beat, and it was especially fun when they would pause and “pass on” the dancing to another member for a brief solo.

“The Robbery” was also a special moment of the show, as the advanced hip-hop group of about 20 dancers were all dressed in stripped outfits and even had prop-nerf guns (which weren’t just props, as I was a victim of one of the Nerf bullets into the crowd). The theme was fun and lively, and it was especially striking to see so many dancers work cohesively together in an expertly-choreographed performance.

While all 27 routines were notable and entertaining, a few other highlights included “Umbrella,” “Out Tonight,” “Crazy in Love,” and “What Do You Mean/Climax/Lay It Down.”

“Umbrella” was a take on the Rihanna classic, and performers Simms, Harris, Milke, Reiff and Velky were all smiles as they balanced their fast-pace tap routine with their umbrella props.

The Advanced Musical Theater number “Out Tonight” was prefaced by Brianna and Kara Milke’s father announcing “Now its time for my two daughters!” a sweet and fun moment that set the stage for the performance. This dance was filled with fun and attitude, and the Milke sisters danced side-by-side throughout the routine.

“Crazy in Love” was another advanced routine, and probably the most theatrical and expressive of the night. The group of dancers came out with make-up smeared all over their faces and danced with an almost eerie conviction as they went “crazy” over a picture of fellow dancer Matt Dunbar.

“What Do You Mean/Climax/ Lay It Down” was a flawlessly performed mash-up featuring the company’s Dance Crew. Although a large group, they flowed effortlessly together and hit every move with a certain style and flair that the crowd loved. Plus, you can never really go wrong dancing to one of the new-and-improved

The closing number of the show was fittingly “Body Language,” and the jazz performance epitomized the overall theme of the show; it was a cohesive number that showed off the dancers’ skills, but also their passion.

Every member of this advanced group looked effortlessly graceful, but they also looked like they were simply having a great time, and this attitude was infectious as the entertained crowd showed support one last time. The 21st Dance Company showcase was certainly a success, and it is certain that students will be looking forward to more powerful performances and inspiring moves in the spring.

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Loyola Dance Company’s “Body Language” Shines at 21st Annual Winter Showcase