April 16, 2010
Dance Corps to debut skills in showcase
"We put a lot of work into it," said junior and SUDC President Meghan McLaughlin, who has been involved with the group since her freshman year.
McLaughlin explained that the planning of this year's event was probably more challenging than in previous years because the executive board consisted of entirely new people.
Junior Chelsey Bennett is one of the choreographers and is treasurer for SUDC.
According to Bennett, planning for the showcase begins the previous spring semester.
"Basically, we already have our show date for next year, and once this showcase is over and we hold elections, the new exec board handles the new class schedule," Bennett said.
"Choreographers begin and sometimes finish choreographing their dances over summer break. We start hosting corps classes in September."
Bennett has been dancing since age four and has been involved in SUDC since her freshman year. She choreographed four of the six dance numbers that she is in this year, which include tap, stomp, jazz and Irish step.
"I do my best to learn and teach a little of everything. I'm even starting to teach myself a bit of break-dancing moves," Bennett said.
She added that some dance routines have a set storyline for the audience to follow, such as this year's stomp-style dance to The Offspring's "Come Out and Play."
"There's a variety of music," McLaughlin said. "There's a tap dance to 'Do You Believe in Magic?' Some people are dancing to hip-hop; there are dances close to ballet; some of it is popular music."
According to McLaughlin, SUDC offers classes each week, and anyone who has been in the group for over a year can teach one.
"It's all student-organized, so I think it just really shows what we can do," she said.
McLaughlin said there are currently 57 people in SUDC. Two jazz classes are offered, as well as classes in point, hip-hop, ballet, lyrical, modern, tap and stomp.
As far as skill levels go for the members of Dance Corps, "there's a really good mix," McLaughlin said. "More recently, we've gotten a lot of girls who've been dancing for years," but some did not start dancing until coming to Susquehanna. She said that the wide variety of experience provides a unique task for instructors to "teach beginners [while still] challenging those who are more advanced."
There are five seniors in SUDC, but the graduation will be addressed differently than in the past.
"In previous years, seniors have done special segments, but this year it's a mix of people who just started this year and people who have been doing it since the start," McLaughlin said.
Posters of pictures of the seniors will instead be displayed in the lobby of Weber Chapel Auditorium.
"I think dance definitely helps you build confidence," McLaughlin said. She noted that incorporating beginners into more advanced classes actually lessens their self-consciousness and encourages them to dive into the experience.
"Our classes are really laid-back," she said. "It's a positive experience, rather than someone yelling at you to do it perfectly every single time."
Bennett added: "As far as the performers, I hope we all achieve our goal of making our dances perfect. When we mess up, we still know it, even if the audience doesn't catch on. That's always my biggest fear, but we've all heard it a thousand times: 'No matter what, just keep dancing,' and that's what we all plan on doing."
She continued: "I hope all the performers just get out there and have the time of their lives on that stage. Dance is meant to be fun and exciting, from both the watching and the performing aspects."
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