RDE dancers cut loose for ‘No Day But Today’ show

Rider Dance Ensemble members rehearse for the number “Footloose,” which was choreographed by seniors Elizabeth Smith and Alyssa Zara. The show will take place Dec. 6 and Dec. 7 in the BLC Theater.
Rider Dance Ensemble members rehearse for the number “Footloose,” which was choreographed by seniors Elizabeth Smith and Alyssa Zara. The show will take place Dec. 6 and Dec. 7 in the BLC Theater.

By Alyssa Naimoli

As the semester comes to a close, Rider Dance Ensemble (RDE) is coming together to show Rider all the talent they have to offer in their show “RDE Presents No Day But Today.”

On Dec. 6 at 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. and again on Dec. 7 at 6 p.m., RDE will be performing in the BLC Theater. Admission to the event is free. All donations and proceeds from booths, like “Kisses for the Cast,” will be given to the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society.

The show will consist of a wide assortment of dance genres. The show contains 29 separate dance pieces choreographed by 28 different choreographers to keep the audience on their toes with every performance.

“We have about 106 dancers,” said Kristy Alexander, president of RDE. “The entire board is student-run, so our dancers are students, our choreographers are students so we have a bunch of styles like ballet, tap and jazz.”

Having 28 choreographers makes each piece seem like a personalized show for the audience to enjoy.

“There’s some dances that are going to be more emotional and more contemporary and they’re going to be more in-your-face,” said Ashley Alvarez, RDE vice president. “We have a really great tap number to ‘Work’ by Britney Spears and it’s going to be non-stop, you won’t be bored. It’s going to be a good show. There’s a lot of things to keep the audience interested.”

RDE has had the semester to prepare for its performance. Dancers have prepared their costumes, learned their choreography, and have decided upon a theme all in time for their shows on Dec. 6 and 7.

“We have a huge NHL and NFL-like draft [in the start of the semester] where the choreographers pick their dancers,” said Alvarez. “After the auditions happen we all sit down in a room and the choreographers just go and start picking people.”

Everyone who auditions for the RDE is included in the performances and helps the ensemble grow as a family. This sense of community helps the dancers create the theme of each performance.

“Each year we have a list of all the names of the pieces, and we send them out to everyone and everyone is allowed to propose or vote for the show name,” said Alexander. “I think a lot of times [the name is] our show opener, or something where depicting that we are each other’s family. That’s something that we pride ourselves on. We are such a close organization.”

The close-knit community that RDE has to offer is what drives the talent and harmony that the performances will showcase. The variety of talents among the ensemble contributes to an exciting and interesting performance.

“Usually when you have dance shows from professional companies they’re always a specific kind of dance company, like either a jazz company or a contemporary company,” said Alvarez. “But Rider Dance Ensemble has every kind of dance genre imaginable, it can even be something that the choreographer decided to make up that year.”

Audience members will get a taste of just how talented each dancer is as they watch each piece take a new spin with new dancers, techniques and music. Each dancer can go from one piece to the next and show the audience the wide range of his or her talent.

“You’ll see people tapping, and then hip-hop, and then doing a lyrical piece because everyone can be in up to four pieces,” said Alexander. “So you see people in a production doing musical theater jazz and then the next number you see them in is an emotional lyrical [piece,] holding their leg in the air for eight counts.”

The show overall will be a demonstration of what a close-knit community of dancers can bring to the stage through teamwork and talent. The dance ensemble went from small performances in the Spitz theater to having full audiences in the BLC theater. “It’s going to be fun,” said Alexander. “It’s going to be impressive, and the money goes to a great cause.”


Printed in the 12/3/14 edition.

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