By Emily Klingman
The Rider Dance Team brought a slice of the Big Apple into the Yvonne Theater on April 4 and 5 with its final performance of the semester, Bright Lights, Big City.
The theme took the audience on a train ride from Lawrenceville to various areas in New York, such as Wall Street, Fifth Avenue and Broadway.
“We are stopping at different parts of NYC where we show different styles of dance including jazz, reggae, lyrical, tap, old school hip-hop and Broadway,” senior elementary education and dance team captain Michelle Farace said.
One dance the team looked forward to performing was “Stop at the World Trade Center,” which was a tribute to the lives lost on 9/11.
It was this dance that junior web design major and dance team president Tiffany Reyes was most excited for.
“My favorite dance personally to perform was the lyrical dance,” she said. “I specialize in hip-hop but this year, I wanted to show people more of my hidden talents. It’s a very emotional piece and it hits home.”
Interlaced throughout the show were introductions of each routine by dance team adviser and host Jamiyl Mosley and videos of performances from the past year.
During an interactive intermission, audience members tweeted selfies that the team took backstage. The audience also took selfies and posted them to Twitter with hashtag #teamdtg. As the selfies were taken, the Twitter feed was posted on a screen on stage, allowing everyone to see the pictures as they came up. The hashtag pays homage to the dance team’s recent win of MTV’s “Dancing with Miley” contest.
The team performed a total of 13 dances, including its special performance from this year’s Midnight MAACness and its recent performance from the Wells Fargo Center.
While some dances featured the whole team, others featured small groups made up of the members from different classes. These dances in particular represented the skills and talents each class brought to the team.
“My favorite dance to perform was probably the senior dance,” said Farace. “It was made to be like a talk show in NYC and displayed dances from our freshman year, sophomore year and junior year. Then we ended with a new routine for senior year, so the dancers who have been on the team since freshman year, including myself, performed all four routines.”
The team hopes that the audience enjoyed the show and understood how the dances related to the theme, as a lot of time and dedication was poured into the event.
“We wanted to put on an amazing performance that also told a story,” Reyes said. “We thought there’s nothing greater than New York to best showcase this. It’s known for its entertainment and we wanted to share that with our families and the Rider community.”
The team began rehearsals in January, but complications with the use of the Yvonne Theater cut the team’s practice time by a week.
“It was a lot of work and some stress preparing for this show because we usually get an extra week,” Reyes said. “We pulled it together and we couldn’t be happier.”
The audience was impressed with the work of the dance team and their showcase performance.
“I liked the show and the variety in the show,” said junior graphic design major Julia Hall. “I thought the dance team did great and was able to show all the different talents they had and not just their basketball game performances. I really liked the New York theme and how it’s such a diverse place and they all have such diverse talents.”
Printed in the 4/9/14 edition