Review: National Dance Week Sets Stage for Spring Dance Concert

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By Viviana Muñoz – Cougar News Contributor

The lights dimmed with the music strumming through the room.  The crowd filled a majority of the seats, waiting for the concert to begin.  The dancers began the first number at 8:04 p.m. to a young and eager audience.

College of the Canyons presented its Spring Dance Concert on at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center. The COC Dance Company performed a variety of dances, including ballet, modern, hip-hop, and belly dance. There were a total of 12 dances, separated by a 10-minute intermission.

The COC Dance Department put on the show to support National Dance Week.

The Dance Company performs to “honor National Dance Week because Dance Week demonstrates the role that dance plays in our life whether one is performing or audience,” said COC Dance Department Chair Phylise Smith. “We like to show and recognize this in the Spring.”

The admission cost was $10 or $5 with a student I.D. That audience members could view the performance for so little a cost was a great deal – they were able to watch a good show while also supporting the dance department.

“Each event contributes to a foundation fund which supports the activity of that program and costs for the College District,” said COC Dean of Fine and Performing Arts Michael McMahan.

The dancers began their first number each transitioning with quick movements, while flashing lights enhanced the increasingly energetic mood.

The supportive crowd applauded and cheered for the performers after the completion of each dance. Their applause became louder and louder with the occasional shout out for a performer.

The performers engaged in an intricate series of leaps, turns and fast-paced steps. They moved effortlessly, belying the actual difficulty of the steps.

Numbers such as “Feel the Rhythm” included an up-beat tempo. The fun mood emanating from the performance literally filtered through the audience, as the dancers bounded off stage and into the audience. The dancers received lively shouts from the audience who began clapping to the music.

Other numbers like “Struggles” consisted of slow and graceful movements, depicting feelings of somberness.

The concert ended on a high note with the number “Out of the Darkness” performed by all of the dancers. This belly dance number consisted of colorful costumes and the swishing of tassels as the dancers shimmed and rolled their hips to the music.

The Spring Dance Concert is a show for all: those who enjoy dance or who just want to support the Dance Department. Overall, the company’s performance demonstrated their hard work, perseverance, and passion for dance.

Both Tayler and Brelyn Frelot, two performers of the dance company, agree on the importance of dance on American culture. “Yes, I feel dance allows you to understand other cultures.  Everyone can benefit from watching dance or taking a dance class,” said Tayler.  On the role dance plays in their lives Brelyn added, “Dance keeps me fit and also allows me to spend time with my sister.  It is an avenue to perform and make a living.”

For any dancers interested in joining auditions for the dance company will be held on the first Wednesday of the fall semester, Aug. 24 at 6:30 p.m. in Pico Hall 101.  Smith said, “All dance styles are welcome and students auditioning should have previous performance experience and be able to enroll for Dance 161 which is Mondays and Wednesdays 6:30-9:30 p.m.”