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The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Loyola Dance Company Wows at 21st Annual Spring Showcase


The 21st Annual Spring Showcase “Royal to a T” put on by the Loyola Dance Company Thursday, Friday, and Sunday of last week, was as the saying goes, perfect to a tee. While sitting in the front row of McManus Theatre, I was able to gain an appreciation and understanding of just how hard all of the dancers work to put on an outstanding show.

Every single dancer who graced the stage allowed his or her personality to shine through their performances. That being said, each of the 34 numbers had a unique feel that told a story. From solos, to duets, tap, jazz and hip-hop, the two-hour-long show was all about performing technically-impressive moves, surprising the audience, and conveying an emotion that the audience couldn’t shake off even after the showcase ended.

The show started on pointe, literally and figuratively, with five dancers doing a regal ballet performance. The vibe of the show then switched to a performance to the song “Dear Future Husband.” Choreographed by Devon Finerty, ’17, the dance was a poke at the future of the dancers’ marriages as all of the dancers wore white dresses and tossed around bouquets. The girls had high-levels of energy and seemed to be having a blast on a stage, which resonated with the engaged crowd. The dance ended with a wedding and the future husband, played by Wacky Gonzalez, coming on stage to greet his bride.

The first act of the show ended with the much-anticipated teacher dance called “Teach Me How to Bieber.” Though the Dance Company keeps all of the dances under wraps prior to performing, I had a feeling that there was going to be a Justin Bieber-related dance. The performance incorporated many of Bieber’s hits from his album, “Purpose.” From “Children,” “What Do You Mean?,” and “Love Yourself,” the dance included funky moves and outfits consisting of basketball jerseys, sunglasses, and crop tops all in bright colors and clashing patterns. This performance was a clear fan-favorite, as well as an impressive mash-up of high energy dances.

The second act started off with Mona Poblete ‘16 running onto stage with a pink hairbrush in hand spurring excitement from the crowd for the senior dance. After Poblete instructed the sound guy to put on the jukebox for ‘80s karaoke, the senior dance, “Don’t You Forget About Us” began, making everyone in the audience laugh. The performers danced their hearts out to ‘80s tunes, including everything from Madonna, to “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” and “Don’t You (Forget About Me).” A lively showcase of the seniors’ talents, this was also a bittersweet moment as it marked the end of years of dedication, hard work and passion for the life-long dancers.

The show then transitioned to a tap number to The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” choreographed by Mackenzie Simms,‘16. The dance gave off a slightly eerie vibe with the dancer’s outfits, and watching the footwork and rhythm of the dancers put me in awe. There wasn’t any hooting or hollering; the audience was silent and took in the impeccably crafted steps.

Throughout the showcase there were eight soloists. Simms sipped wine and tapped her heart out to a French song, “Belle.” Kathryn Morrison danced with attitude and power to “Dirty Diana”, and pretended to kill her man at the end. Matt Dunbar, the only male to have a solo, killed it with his precise, exaggerated movements during “Beautiful Escape”, and Brianna Velky left the audience speechless during her emotionally-driven lyrical dance to “Can’t Make You Love Me” with her commanding presence and gracefulness.

The senior officers, Symone Harris and Brianna Milke, had every intention of shaking up the show, and that is exactly what they did. They came together to choreograph three of the most unique, creative, and mesmerizing dances of the entire show. The three performances, “7 Deadly Sins” (Advanced Lyrical), “Nightmare”(Advanced Hip-Hop), and “Werewolf” (Advanced Modern) left the audience in awe (and maybe even a little scared), with the dark and eerie dances.

In “Nightmare,” the dancers on stage were asleep in their pajamas and then abruptly interrupted when their freaky, tortured “nightmares” jumped out from under the stage and down the theatre aisles. During “Werewolf,” the dancers had their wrists tied together and pulled each other’s black and red tutus while dancing under dark lighting. “7 Deadly Sins” featured 14 dancers paired up portraying the sins simply through their expertly-executed movements.

The best element of the Dance Show was seeing how much fun each dancer was having, encouraged by the screams of praise coming from the groups of friends and family in the audience. For the seniors, particularly officers Symone Harris and Bri Milke, “Royal to a T” was the perfect send-off that showcased their passions and talent. When the curtain finally closed, there was no doubt in the audience’s mind about how important this show is to the performers. Put simply, dance is their life.


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Loyola Dance Company Wows at 21st Annual Spring Showcase