Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Dancing: So much more than gliding across the floor

If you're like me, a brief experiment with ballet at age 6 and some circle-swaying across the high school dance floor are all that constitutes your illustrious dancing history. That's why what happened at dance auditions today in a studio in the Performing Arts Center was so impressive.

"Flick, hit, coupe, flick, step, step, wrap, sink ... ." That's about where I lost the wonderful dancer and professor Dr. Julie Kerr-Berry. And I lost her just when writing the words down. The students, on the other hand -- more than 50 of them -- managed to keep up with Dr. Kerr-Berry in their movements, let alone just her words.

The big group auditioning for the Fall Dance Concert, as well as the Student Showcase, was the largest auditioning group in the department's history, said Professor Dan Stark. That made for a packed dance studio, where each student was eager to showcase their moves.

Dr. Kerr-Berry guided them through their steps, watched four apiece perform the dance across the floor, and then offered critiques.

"There's real specific moments in here." ... "You're going to travel across the dance floor. I need you to travel through the space." ... "There's not a jump there." ... "Oh, yes, there is a jump there." ... "This is less about the kick and more about the longitude."

With each round of pointers, the students improved -- some of them so much that it would earn them a spot in the concert. But those who do make it will have to wait a day or two to find out, when the lists are posted.

In the meantime, here are a few more photos from the auditions.

Dr. Julie Kerr-Berry leads students through the choreography.

Students run through the choreography on their own.

Dr. Julie Kerr-Berry watches more than 50 dance auditioners perform.

Dr. Julie Kerr-Berry helps students polish their moves.

A dancer warms up before auditions begin.

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