Spring Show creates nostalgia

By Amanda Alfanos

It was a bittersweet assignment. Taking photos at American Spirit Dance Company’s Spring Show dress rehearsal brought about a slew of nostalgia. There I was, snapping away on my camera from house right, watching from behind a lens, as my former dance performance classmates presented their final farewell on the Kirkpatrick Auditorium stage. Some of the dances made me laugh, while others puzzled me. Surely there had to be a method to choreographer Kari Shaw’s dance in which the performers traveled around the stage in over-the-top canine costumes. Nonetheless, I couldn’t prevent the tears from welding up behind my eyes during some of the dances. There’s something irreplaceable about the coined “dancer’s high” that artists only can get from performing. Sure, I get a giddy “reporter’s high” when a source says something unforgettable during an interview, but it’s not quite the same adrenaline rush. Being a dance performance major at Oklahoma City University isn’t easy — I would know. I planned to pursue a dance degree for two years, but when I learned my pursuit of a mass communications minor would not be possible, this constituted a change in Fall 2009. My decision to change my concentration wasn’t easy, because I had equal passions for dance and journalism. But looking back, I don’t regret my choice. While stress often is unavoidable in any environment, regular weigh ins created panic among even the thinnest of my classmates and pressure to make graduation levels became an obsession. When friends ask me whether or not I miss being a dance major, I usually reply with a revamped version of a line from Necessary Targets: “Maybe I didn’t want to be a great dancer. Maybe I just wanted to dance.” To read more about what dance performance seniors have to endure, read this previous post. Watching from the audience, part of me wished I could take part in the storytelling of Spring Show. I particularly enjoyed Jo Rowan’s “Lean on Me,” a lyrical-ballet piece, and the Fosse number, “Sing Sing Sing.” But at the same time, I knew that rising to applaud my classmates’ final bow performance was all I needed to contribute to their moment in the spotlight. Below are some photos I snapped of the production. The photos are copyrighted, but they can purchased by visiting Student Publications’ Shutterfly website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dancers to perform at Mary Kay Convention

Kelly Mayton, dance performance senior

Ariel Prochilo, dance performance junior

Laura Breedlove, dance performance sophomore

The Mary Kay Convention in Dallas will feature the talents of  OCU dancers this summer. In fact, all available dancer positions were filled by OCU dancers.

Students auditioned in Dallas in May for the gig which runs through August 7.

Ariel Prochilo, dance performance junior, said this will be her first professional dance job.

“I’ve been paid for a few theater performances before,” she said. “But  this is the biggest thing I’ve done.”

Prochilo is one of three non-returning dancers who was selected be dancing part-time at the convention. Other selected non-returning part-time dancers also are from OCU. Lauren Johnson, dance performance junior, and Jenifer Bohn, dance performance senior, snagged the castings.

Kelly Mayton, dance performance senior, and Laura Breedlove, dance performance sophomore, were selected for full-time roles. Prochilo said the casting director asked if more full-time dancers could be considered for hire, but was directed to only select two dancers.

Returning dancers from OCU who will be performing include Kelly Bostorff and Michael McCarthy, dance performance seniors, Julie Russell, fine arts graduate, Carla Yoselow, dance management senior, and a few OCU alumni.

“We have such a great support system,” Prochilo said. “It was comforting to walk into the audition knowing we had a lot of friends there.”

Sarah Larr, entertainment director of Larrwell Productions, the company responsible for Mary Kay Convention casting, said she is “amazed” by the performance level of OCU dancers.

“The dancers are already performing at a level that we strive to reach in our performers after a month,” she said. “They not only dance well, they are smiling and singing from the start. They are exactly what we look for. I have never seen such a polished group of performers from one place.”

Auditions for singers will be hosted June 5, 10 and 12 in Room E35 at Mountain View College, 4849 W. Illinois Ave., Dallas. Times are still to be determined. For more information, visit the Larrwell Productions website.