On Apr. 24 at 6 p.m. in the Knott Auditorium, Mount St Mary’s Dance Team held their showcase. Along with the Dance Team, the TnT Dance Academy from Waldorf, Md. performed. The two dance teams alternated their dances, with each performance bringing a new energy to the audience. The auditorium was filled with both teams’ families, friends and fellow Mount students who wanted to see what the showcase was all about.
The last dance of the event was the senior dance, a piece that showcased each of the six dancers that will be graduating this year. Two of those seniors spoke with the Mountain Echo about the showcase, their favorite pieces and their personal history with dance.
Jael Smith, a senior and one of the three team captains, told the Echo that the goal showcase was “to display the team’s dances and all our hard work.” It is also a fundraiser to help support the team.
Contrary to popular belief, the Dance Team is not just for those who have danced for years and want to continue once they are at school. Leslye Villavicencio, a senior, has only danced for three years, all of them being on the team. She said that she “joined the dance team because it was always something I had wanted to do, and it is a great way to meet people. It is also a fun and exciting way to express yourself through movement and music.”
While Villavicencio has only been dancing for three years, Smith has been dancing for the past 17 years and has been on the team since she was a first-year student. The team does not require previous dance experience, and from a novice point of view, one cannot tell the difference between those with years of experience and those who have only been dancing for a couple of years.
To someone with no experience in dance, but would like to start, it would seem that the Mount’s Dance Team is a great place to be. Not only does it keep those who have danced before in the game, but it also opens up a whole new world to new dancers. As Tyla Frazier (C’24) told the Echo, “I joined the Dance Team because I knew I wanted to continue my passion for dancing throughout college. Also, this was a great way for me to be involved in the school.”
When asked why people should join, Smith said, “You should join the Dance Team because it is an experience to not only become social and meet new people, but they could also improve your dance skills as well.”
Another member of the dance team, junior Norah Cvijanovich, was asked the same question. She said that joining is a great way to make friends. “We have a lot of fun practicing together each week while also improving upon our skills.” The team being open to all people, regardless of past experience, could result in students feeling more welcoming on campus.
Smith, Villavicencio and Cvijanovich were asked which of the many pieces they performed were their favorite. Smith and Villavicencio said that one of their favorites was “Old School vs New School,” a hip-hop piece that included hip-hop music and dance of the past and present.
Cvijanovich, who will serve as the team’s new choreography captain, was given the opportunity to choreograph her own piece, “You’ve Got the Love.” She said, “This was my favorite piece to perform because I enjoy thinking creatively and seeing my vision come to the stage.” Other favorites were “Pitbull,” “Work,” “Bad Habits” and “Everybody Mad.” Finally, Smith said that she greatly enjoyed the senior dance, as it recognized the seniors and that it also felt personal.