Work Hard, Dancer Harder

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Lauryn Beam ~ Guest Writer

University of Lynchburg’s Dance Works (ULDW) program will hold their spring showcase May 2-4, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. in Dillard Theater. Admission is free and the show is open to the public.

ULDW is made up of about twenty undergraduate and graduate students. Most dancers have a background in dance. The dancers on the team do not study any type of dance or theatre at Lynchburg. They all come from different backgrounds and different majors to come together and dance!

ULDW is included in the theatre department at the University of Lynchburg. The team works closely with the department and the staff.

ULDW puts on two showcases every year. During the fall semester they put on a smaller show to allow choreographers to try new dances, and the spring semester is their large showcase. ULDW does all different styles of dance, including contemporary, modern, ballet, jazz, and more.

This year, ULDW will be performing one of their largest shows. The show is filled with twenty-one different dances, all done by fifteen choreographers, with the help of the theater lighting class this semester. Captain and junior, Samantha Jones, said, “I am most excited for working with the technical director, Professor Otwell, and his lighting class. I feel they will really help bring our pieces to life.”

Along with help from the technical team, ULDW works with the theatre department’s costume designer, Savannah Bower. Graduate student Katie Cusack said, “Savannah and the costume department workers always do the best to provide costumes that match the piece and the choreographers vision!” All of the choreographers sit down with Bower and Otwell early in the semester to talk through ideas. From there, it is always a collaborative effort up until show. Cusack also said, “They always make the dances look good and dancers feel good on stage.”

This show, ULDW has a lot of first time choreographers and a lot of new ideas. Audience members will have a roller coaster of emotions. Along with lighting, the Technical Director also supplies dances with props and different effects on stage to keep the audience intrigued.

This year, ULDW is involved in each part of the showcase a little more than usual. Jones said, “We have dancers this year that are both involved in the lighting department and the costumes. A senior, Logan Wagner, is assisting on light designs and junior, Jacquelyn Resau, works in the costume department.”

Freshman Rebecca Parks said, “It was awesome watching each student-choreographed piece and seeing the different interests and unique styles of each dancer.” The show is filled with all unique styles, each one a little different.

ULDW’s spring showcase is filled with many new choreographers. Junior, Leah Eldred is choreographing for the first time this year since she has been on the team. Eldred said, “I am excited to choreograph because I like to create different stories using the talents and strengths of my dancers. It is really fun to experiment and try new things with a group of friends who all love to dance.”

The dancers are excited for this showcase. Captain and senior, Whitney Grim said, “This show is lively and really shows the personality of the team!” ULDW dancers are preparing to start this show. Go out and support ULDW May 2-4, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. in Dillard Theatre.