Student Dance Showcase Features Ballet, Breakdancing, Latin


Rick Yu, Staff Photographer

College sophomore Kalei Tooman and College senior Olivia Jones-Hall mirror one another’s moves during the Stu- dent Dance Showcase. The performance, which took place last Friday and Saturday, included a wide variety of acts, from breakdancing to ballet.

Michelle Fikrig

The Student Dance Showcase held in Warner Main Space last Friday and Saturday featured a variety of acts ranging from tap to break dancing to the adorable moves of the TY Squad. College sophomores Lola Gatti and Isabel Levey-Swain co-directed the show this semester after serving as assistant directors under College senior Alana Reibstein last fall. Given the incredible talent that the performers brought to the showcase, the directors’ main task was organizing the performances to create a show that lived up to people’s expectations, as the event has become a highlight in the semester performance schedule.

The show’s three tap performances showed a progression of skill across the beginning tap ExCo — which performed Friday night — as well as the continuing tap ExCo trio and ViBE Tap group. The latter’s performance of “Billy Jean,” choreographed by College senior Elena Robakiewicz, was light-hearted and fresh. The choice to keep costuming simple — each dancer wore one white glove — was effective throughout the dance. The final tap performance, “Trading 4s: What You Gotta Say,” choreographed and performed by College sophomore Chandler Browne and College senior Gracie Goodman, was arguably the most innovative of the tap pieces. Between Browne’s tapping and Goodman’s beat boxing, the performers seemed to have a conversation together, giving the performance an intimate feel. Browne’s quick style heightened the energy of the piece, making the duo a highlight of the show.

College senior Alan Rueda’s
 performance, “Always Be With
 Me,” represented another poignant moment. The piece,
 which Rueda choreographed
and featured him in a solo,
 garnered loud cheers and ap
plause. Rueda also performed in “R.I.C.O,” choreographed by College sophomore Kalei Tooman; “Cake by the Ocean,” choreographed by College first-year Michelle Ravitsky; and Latin dance group Movimiento and KOREO’s pieces. Rueda choreographed KOREO’s piece with double-degree senior Alan Wang, and their inclusion of the TY Squad, a group of local children, made for an exciting and endearing performance.

The Umoja Steppers performed a strong closer filled with energy and excitement. The group used call-and-response, an important element in stepping, to encourage audience participation. The strong rhythm and power of the dancers’ steps resonated throughout the large studio space with each precise and unified movement. After a funny introduction referencing Will Smith’s Fresh Prince of Bel-Air days, Umoja broke into a dance to the song “Fiesta (remix)” by Bomba Estéreo and Will Smith, and was joined by Movimiento. The combination of styles brought together two of the larger studio groups in a cohesive way.

While the combination of tap, contemporary, ballet, Latin, step and other styles from a wide range of dancers left a lasting impression, the showcase dragged on for almost two hours as a result of widening interest and a lack of auditions. The event is an important outlet for many student groups and independent dancers and a great opportunity for artists who don’t like the pressure of auditions. However, cuts should be made in the future to give the audience the best possible experience while lending performers the attention they deserve.