Senior concert: a last performance
Leah Perri/ Winonan
Winona State University’s theater and dance department hosted the Senior Dance Concert at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 14 and Tuesday, April 15 on the Main Stage of the Performing Arts Center.
The show featured tap, ballet, hip-hop and jazz pieces choreographed by Winona State seniors involved in the dance department.
Auditions for the senior concert were two days after Dancescape on February 18. Practice for the show began immediately, marking the beginning of a six-week process. Each dance piece received a two-hour time slot to rehearse per week.
With less prep time than usual for this show, it was crucial for dance members to nail each week’s material and keep moving in order to perfect their pieces in time.
Surprisingly, the majority of students involved in the show were not theater and dance majors.
For many, the show was a way to display their passion for one of the most unique and expressive art forms: dance.
Jamie Herman, a social work major and sociology minor, performed in three group pieces and one solo performance. Her solo piece dance to “Breathe Me” by Sia, according to Herman, represented the emotional struggles of growing up and finding one’s faith.
“I thought, as a senior, and this being my last performance on the WSU stage, I would do a piece that I really have a personal connection to,” Herman said.
Haley Holmes, also a senior, performed in six total pieces and choreographed the two tap pieces in the show. One was her senior solo piece to “Penny’s From Heaven,” and the other was a group piece to Pharrell’s song “Happy.”
Holmes, who will be graduating in the fall with a psychology degree, said tap dance has and always will be a part of her life.
“I love keeping my love for tap dance alive and sharing it with other people,” she said. “It is a style of dance that has so much history behind it and is so different from anything else.”
Since the show was available for all to participate in, freshman Marae Connell, along with other students of all ages, thought she would audition for the show.
Connell, a mass communications major who has been involved with dance all her life, performed in the hip-hop piece “Bad Girls Do It Well,” choreographed by seniors Brooke Brose and Beth Somers, as well as Somers’ lyrical piece “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?”
For her, as well as many others, dance gives her an outlet to express how she feels, but it also means a bit more to her than that.
“My grandmother and I share a special bond because she is also a dancer,” Connell said. “She started dancing around the same time as I did. We both love the musicality, movement and enjoyment that comes along with dance.”
The show ended in style, featuring a group finale dance choreographed by all of the seniors collectively to Lady Gaga’s “Applause,”—and applause is what it received.
According to audience member Kaley Jacobson, the passion of the dance members really showed in each of their pieces.
“The energy in the theater was awesome,” Jacobson said. “I was especially impressed with the choreography done by our very own WSU seniors.”
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