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Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Dancers finish warm up

Some pieces took a few few weeks to perfect others took less than a week.(Maritza Rodriguez/The Daily Cougar)

Some pieces took a few few weeks to perfect others took less than a week. |  Maritza Rodriguez/The Daily Cougar

Nonstop twirls and the rhythm of music showed audience members that the students from the School of Theatre and Dance are not just a bunch of pretty faces. The public was welcomed to sit and watch short works that were choreographed and danced by students.

Monday March Madness was held at the Lyndall Finley Wortham Theatre. It featured an informal showcase of the students’ abilities. Dance professor Karen Stokes said the program helped the students show their unfinished work so the audience could get a glimpse of their progress.

“This is a chance for them to show their works in progress as a warm up opportunity for the upcoming shows this semester,” Stokes said.

The program introduced 12 choreographed works and used heavy dramatic lighting so the dancers could set the mood for the audience. Dancers also used different types of music that fit the individuality of their pieces.

While some dancers worked alone, others participated with their fellow classmates and helped them with their choreography. “S.I.R.” was a work created by dance senior Erica Henderson who also performed in “Dangle,” written by assistant dance professor Rebecca Valls. Henderson said dancing to another person’s choreography is different from her own work.

“I definitely enjoyed the other two works I was in because it was good to be somebody else’s sculpture,” Henderson said.

Like any dancer, each individual loved to show his audience his finesse and skill. Dance junior Katrina Woods loves to choreograph and thought the event was a good time to do it.

“When I found out about March Madness, I decided I really wanted to enter the piece I was working on and for the audience to view my progress in the dance program,” Woods said.

In some instances, dance routines can take many weeks to perfect, while others take less than a week to put together. Media junior Zondra Victor was one of the dancers who performed during the program. Her work, “Ego Altered,” took less than a week to choreograph, and her goal was to make the audience feel uncomfortable.

“I wanted to get that frustration out,” Victor said. “I used the intensity of my character so the audience can feel the anger and frustration of my movement.”

As the dancers bowed their heads to the round of applause, there was a sense of admiration among the audience. Students like education freshman Darnell Anderson said he was excited to see how the dancers worked and practiced their choreography.

“I loved how the students interacted with each other to help in one another’s choreography,” Anderson said. “You can tell they practiced really hard and pulled it off in the end.”

Dance senior Nadia Dosal choreographed her own work, “Soledad.” She said March Madness definitely helped the students and her practice more choreography for future auditions and to express themselves.

“It’s really important that the school gave us opportunities like this, since we are a choreography-based program,” Dosal said. “I’m very happy that they do present March Madness.”

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