Dance Ensemble taps into the art of charity

The Rider Dance Ensemble will bring a variety of styles to the Bart Luedeke Center Theater stage from April 16 to April 17. Audiences are encouraged to donate to the Ovarian Cancer National Society.
The Rider Dance Ensemble will bring a variety of styles to the Bart Luedeke Center Theater stage from April 16 to April 17. Audiences are encouraged to donate to the Ovarian Cancer National Society.

By Vanessa Woy

After months of curating and organizing this semester’s showcase, “All We Are,” the Rider Dance Ensemble (RDE) will bring its rehearsals to fruition during its performances on April 16  at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and April 17 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. in the Bart Luedeke Center Theater.

RDE President Taylor Miller, junior elementary education and dance major, and RDE Vice President Jessica Spinosa, junior arts administration major with a concentration in dance, have worked together to organize the showcase. Any proceeds from the performance are going toward the Ovarian Cancer National Society.

“Working on another show this semester has been a challenging, but rewarding experience,” said Miller and Spinosa in a joint statement. “Once again, our dancers did an amazing job creating, collaborating and improvising to make the best of a busy semester.”

Gracing the stage with styles of dance including contemporary, jazz and tap, RDE stands tall with a total of 70 students performing in the showcase.

“Each of these styles is performed in various group sizes ranging from small numbers, to large pieces, and one full-group number,” said Miller.

Behind the fast-moving feet, sits senior graphic design major Sara Abelson, RDE technical and lighting director. Working with the organization for all four years of her career at Rider, Abelson brings the depiction of dance to life through her tech-savvy contributions.

Kaleen Butterfield, senior public relations major, will be performing in her last showcase with RDE.

“The process of preparing and creating a show in the length of a semester can be extremely challenging,” said Butterfield. “But seeing the work put in from the start of our auditions in February, to a fully rehearsed show in April, is incredibly rewarding. Because we are a student-run organization, putting on a show is completely on us.

“Booking the space, finding rehearsal times, selecting dances, ordering costumes, the social media and everything that goes into putting on a showcase is our responsibility. RDE takes an immense amount of pride in creating dances and performances of quality, and focuses on maintaining the high standards we set for ourselves.”

In contrast to many of the performances on Rider’s campus, RDE takes the path less traveled, charging no admission fee.

“A unique aspect of our organization’s performances, is that they’re 100 percent free for attendees,” said Butterfield. “We ask for a suggested donation for the charity chosen for that semester. It feels good to know that not only are we working hard to put a great show together, but we are making a difference at the same time.”

During this spring’s showcase, attendees can expect to see a myriad of dance performances, consisting of unique pieces created by student choreographers. Miller and Spinosa, rolling forward as some of the showcase’s key wheels, aim to increase awareness of the arts through the showcase.

“We look forward to sharing these new works with not only RDE family and friends but the entire Rider community,” said both Miller and Spinosa. “We feel that this show displays the versatility of our dancers, encompassing this semester’s theme, ‘All We Are.’ We could not be more proud of the growth made in Rider Dance Ensemble this year, and look forward to what the future holds.”

 

Printed in the 4/13/16 edition.

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