By Rena Carmen
The Rider Dance Ensemble (RDE) will be closing out the spring semester with RDE Presents: Wherever You Will Go.
The show will open in the Yvonne Theater on May 2 at 7:30 p.m. and May 4 at 12:30 p.m. and 5 p.m., and will be a part of this year’s ArtsBeast Festival.
After the theme, which is the show’s namesake, was picked and voted on, the dancing began. According to Deanna Doyon, a junior secondary education major and treasurer of RDE, the theme this year was named after one of the dances put to the song “Wherever You Will Go.”
“I think that, as an organization, this theme is definitely bittersweet,” said Doyon. “We are losing so many wonderful seniors, but they know that we will always be there for them, wherever they go.”
The ensemble has been working on choreography and rehearsing since February.
“We’ve been practicing weekly for multiple hours to make sure we can put on the best show yet,” said Ashley Miller, junior elementary education major and president of RDE.
The show will present 27 routines of different dance styles, including contemporary, hip-hop, jazz and tap.
“This show, like all of our shows, really means everything to us,” said Doyon. “We work so incredibly hard as performers and choreographers to create dances that will not only be entertaining, but dances that people will be able to relate to on a deeper level.”
A standout number to look forward to will be junior journalism major J’na Jefferson’s dance, dedicated to her mother, which was performed at Relay for Life and was “absolutely touching,” according to Doyon.
Another dance to anticipate is senior business economics major Becky MacLeon’s Beyoncé mash-up that will “definitely be something you don’t want to miss,” according to Doyon. MacLeon has shown the “utmost dedication to RDE” and will be graduating this year, after many years of bringing “some of the best and most intricate” hip-hop pieces to the RDE shows.
MacLeon is just one of the many graduating seniors this spring to whom this show pays tribute.
“This show will stand out because we have several new choreographers showcasing their fun new styles in this show,” said Doyon. “The pieces themselves have a wide range between styles, paces and messages.”
This year, proceeds from the show will be donated to the Shriners Hospital for Children. The hospital “specializes in pediatric orthopedic, burn, spinal cord injury and cleft lip and palate care for children,” according to Doyon.
“We actually chose this particular hospital because one of our members went there as a young child,” Doyon said. “She would not be walking, let alone dancing, if it wasn’t for Shriners, so we wanted to help her give back to them.”
Admission to the show is free and donations for the Shriners Hospital for Children will be accepted upon entrance.
Printed in the 4/30/14 edition.