Keep calm and carry on with RDE

Senior Courtney Schumacher, freshman Caitlyn Hoffman and sophomores Liz Smith and Nicole Colossi perform en pointe for RDE’s Carry On.

By Tara DeLorenzo

The annual spring show of the Rider Dance Ensemble (RDE) will encourage those anxious about the year’s end to sit back, relax and enjoy its spring production titled Rider Dance Ensemble Presents: Carry On.

The theme of this year’s production, as sophomore secondary education and math major Deanna Doyon explains is a kind of life lesson, especially for the seniors involved. It sends the message that “in life, we all must move on, but in a positive and proactive light.”

Taking place as graduation looms closer, the performance has taken on a much larger meaning for its many performers.

“We have a large senior class this year who will be leaving their RDE home and carrying on to bright and exciting futures,” said Kate Mina, RDE president and senior sociology major. “This show is dedicated to them.”

Showcasing a range of dance styles, the show will feature an array of dances created by student choreographers in the organization. In addition to showing off these dances, the production also hopes to give back to Restore the Shore with donations from the performance.

From auditions to casting to the many practices and tech rehearsals, the RDE dancers have been working hard to put this production together. This diverse show includes a spectrum of styles ranging from modern, tap, contemporary, jazz, pointe, musical theater, lyrical and hip-hop.

“In this show, the audience can look forward to seeing an eclectic collection of pieces carefully put together by Rider students,” Doyon said. “We have all put our hearts and souls into this show, and I can promise that it will be a performance you do not want to miss.”

RDE is a group of dancers from all different backgrounds and majors. Its mission is to give young dancers, as well as young choreographers, an opportunity to explore their creativity. The goals are to help them learn ways to expand their movement and dancing as well as express themselves in a supportive and encouraging environment, according to the group’s Facebook page.

To make the audience become one with the theme, Mina and sophomore elementary education and dance major Ashley Miller, the group’s future president, choreographed a contemporary-jazz piece to the popular Fun. song “Carry On,” involving more than 40 RDE dancers. Powerful and enjoyable to watch, Doyon said it is the dance that really sticks out.

“Every piece is incredible in its own way,” Mina said. “Some are purely for fun and enjoyment. Some signify something special to a choreographer. Some will make you dance in your seat and some will make you cry.”

In selecting a charity to help benefit with the proceeds, the members were asked for suggestions, and after a vote, Restore the Shore was selected and embraced by the organization. Hurricane Sandy hit close to home for many of the members, said both Mina and Doyon.

Rider Dance Ensemble Presents: Carry On takes place tonight at 6 and April 20 at noon and 4 p.m. According to Doyon, it is a show where the audience will be able to experience the “excitement and passion we all feel about performing the piece,” Doyon said.

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