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Marist Dance Ensemble to Perform Spring Showcase This Weekend

By Meghan Jones
On April 16, 2015


The days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer, and, nearly every night this week, the McCann center arena is packed with hundreds of students.  That can only mean one thing: it’s time for the Marist College Dance Ensemble spring showcase.

This semester, the Dance Ensemble includes an impressive 350 students, who participate in anywhere from one to seven dances.  The show, titled “Serendipity,” features 29 different dances in styles ranging from hip hop to ballet to salsa.  The final number will be a dance dedicated to the graduating seniors, featuring the songs “Ways to Go” and “Colors” by Grouplove and choreographed by senior Sam Cillo.  There will also be a raffle benefitting Youth Mission Outreach, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Poughkeepsie children and families.  “Every semester, we pick a different organization to donate to,” said senior Deanna Clark, the president of MCDE.

Every dance in the show is student-choreographed.  Freshman Gabriela Morris is thrilled to be choreographing her first MCDE dance with junior Harley Chase.

“I’ve always wanted to be a choreographer,” Morris said.  “My really big goal is to be a Broadway choreographer.”  She admits that being a choreographer can be “a lot of work,” and though it “had its challenges,” she said that “it was amazing, really an overall good experience.”  Morris is in four dances including her own, a contemporary number to “Unsteady” by X Ambassadors.

Sophomore Amanda Whorlow, who has been an active member of MCDE since fall of her freshman year, choreographed a dance with sophomore Kate Boylan for the second semester in a row.  Including hers and Boylan’s dance, an upbeat tap number to Christina Aguilera’s “Candyman,” Whorlow is in seven different dances.  For her, however, it’s not too many.  “I love every single dance I’m in,” she said.  “I made sure to spread out my dance schedule so that…I only had either one or two each night.”  

Making her MCDE debut in Whorlow and Boylan’s dance is sophomore Nicole Souza.  “When I went to the dance show last semester, I was…so amazed by…all the dances,” she said.  “I’ve always wanted to learn how to dance…so I decided, ‘Why not?’” Souza said that while she “wasn’t sure what to expect” from her first semester of MCDE, she “couldn’t be happier about the way it turned out.”  Souza definitely plans to do dance again next semester.  “Now that I’ve done one, I’m already in love with it,” she said.

During the week before the performance, dancers run the entire show almost every night, so they get to see all of the completed dances.  Sophomore Priya Samanta, who is in three hip hop numbers as well as a salsa number, really enjoyed seeing the hip hop dance choreographed by freshman Alex Polzun.  Polzun’s dance, to “Watch Out for This” (Remix) by Major Laser, rehearsed right before one of Samanta’s own dances.

“Everyone is out of breath by the time I go into the room,” she laughed.  “I hadn’t seen the whole thing put together, so when I saw it for the first time on Sunday, it was…awesome.”  Whorlow agrees that Polzun’s dance is not to be missed.  “It looks so good,” she said.  “I give him and his dancers a lot of props, because that dance…is really so intense.”   

Souza is most looking forward to senior George Delgrosso’s dance, which mixes two Meghan Trainor songs and “Freak” by Diplo with music and themes from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”  “It’s a combination I wouldn’t expect, but I think it’s going to be great,” she said.

As for the title of the show, “Serendipity,” Clark and the rest of the MCDE board worked together to come up with it.  Clark believes that the word, meaning “something [unexpected] you weren’t planning on finding,” really describes Dance Ensemble.  “We weren’t really expecting to get this great experience out of it, making the friends that we did, and having it play such a big role in our lives,” she said.  “I know if I wasn’t…in Dance Ensemble, my college experience would definitely not be the same.”

 MCDE will perform “Serendipity” on Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19, in the McCann Arena.  Both shows are at 3 pm, and doors open at 2 pm.

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