By Bethany-May Howard
The Rider University Dance Ensemble (RDE) will celebrate its 10th anniversary in the Bart Luedeke Center Theater (BLC) with “A Decade of Dance,” a showcase that will embrace a variety of styles, including contemporary, tap, jazz, hip-hop and modern.
“Our spring show, ‘A Decade of Dance,’ is honoring how far our organization has come since its beginning,” said senior elementary education major and RDE treasurer Melissa Exler. “The Rider University Dance Ensemble has evolved from a small club to Rider University’s largest student run organization on campus with over 100 members today.”
This series of performances will also be the ensemble’s longest act to date, featuring 30 dances.
“We are in the works of incorporating alumni, too, since it is the 10th anniversary,” said sophomore marketing major and RDE’s upcoming 2017-18 President Victoria Miller.
The ensemble is made up of dancers from many studios across the country, and choreographers, who are able to cast the dancers they think would best suit their pieces.
“While many dances are just fun and entertaining to watch, some dances have powerful messages behind them,” said Exler. “Choreographers can be inspired by anything and everything around them and, in turn, tell a story through dance.”
According to junior health sciences major and RDE President Jamie Misegades, the dance ensemble puts on two sets of shows per year and each one is “exciting and unique” because of the different choreographers and ideas they are able to create and express through their dances.
“The Rider Dance ensemble gives us a home and a safe place to express ourselves as artists, and we can’t wait to see what the next 10 years will bring us,” Misegades said.
The entire ensemble has been working all semester toward this production, putting in numerous hours each week to prepare for the upcoming performances.
“We held auditions for the spring show back in January and since then have been holding countless rehearsals during the week as well as practices on the BLC stage,” said junior dance major and RDE Vice President Julia Weiss.
The ensemble is currently in its final stages of the production sequence and is adding the finishing touches to the show.
“Rehearsals are going great,” Misegades said. “We have our dress rehearsal and run-through this coming week, so we are excited to see how everything looks once we put it all together.”
Although the dancers are beginning to feel the nerves, they are confident and excited about the upcoming performances.
“Students are able to communicate through their work, and we hope the audience can take away all of our love and passion for dance, and the creativity and artistry that goes along with it,” Weiss said.
“A Decade of Dance” will be held on April 21 at 7 p.m., April 22 at 5 p.m. and April 23 at 5 p.m. Admission is free. However, there is a suggested donation to Wayside House, Inc., which helps women receive substance abuse and mental health treatment.
Published in the 4/19/17 edition.