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Dance Alabama! to feature student choreography

Bianca Martin

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With pieces ranging from ballet to hip hop to jazz, the Dance Alabama! program is back for its spring concert to showcase the talents of student dancers and choreographers.

Dance Alabama! is a concert of 24 pieces entirely choreographed and performed by University of Alabama students. Choreographers teach dancers their routine and then must audition in front of faculty in order to be chosen for the show.

One of these choreographers is Ashley Smith, a senior majoring in dance. She has choreographed four dances for the program in her time as a student at the University.

(See also “Students take the stage at fall Dance Alabama!“)

“As a choreographer, it’s challenging to put your choreography out there, first to teach the dancers that are in the dance and then also to show it to the faculty and the other dance majors,” Smith said. “That can be really scary and stressful, but it’s really rewarding to see your work onstage. It makes it all worth it.”

Smith’s “We Will Rise,” a contemporary piece, will be the first performance of the concert. It involves a variety of dancers, including Callie Andro, a freshman majoring in dance and graphic design, who said she is proud to be part of the group.

“I am excited about being a part of something bigger than myself,” Andro said. “Conveying the choreographer’s message that they are trying to get across, I know that it’s important to them, so it’s important to me.”

(See also “Dance Alabama! a ‘crowd pleaser’“)

Each piece in the show has a different theme and a variety of dance styles involved. Smith said she believes the audience will be engaged with the different styles.

“[The audience] will go through such a range of emotions and dance styles,” Smith said. “The dancers are so talented, and we pour so much time and effort into this. We want to make it a good show, and it always is. I think people are going to leave feeling very inspired and energized by our dances.”

Besides being entirely student-run, Dance Alabama! differs from other dance programs at the University, in that not all participants are dance majors. Rebeca Maynor, a sophomore majoring in athletic training, performed in last spring’s concert.

“Even if you’re not a dance major, if you have an idea and you want to see it come to life, you can pick your dancers from auditions and make your piece,” Maynor said. “Then you show it at the showings, and if they like it they’ll put it in the show.”

Dance Alabama! will be performed Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. in Morgan Auditorium. Tickets are available at ua.tix.com.

 (See also “Dance Alabama! shows depth“)

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Dance Alabama! to feature student choreography