Slice of Life

DanceWorks showcase to be held this weekend

Frankie Prijatel | Senior Staff Photographer

DanceWorks will host its annual showcase this weekend, featuring various dance styles such as tap, jazz and hip hop.

UPDATED: March 2, 2017 at 5:20 p.m.

Almost 100 dancers gather together in Goldstein Auditorium to rehearse routines. Passersby could see and hear tap, jazz, contemporary and hip-hop being practiced. After about five hours, the exhausted but happy dancers retreat to their beds, knowing they will have to wake up tomorrow and do it all again. It’s what they’ve been working toward all year.

This weekend, DanceWorks — the largest student-run organization on Syracuse University’s campus — will celebrate its 31st anniversary during its annual spring showcase. It all takes place at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday in the Schine Student Center’s Goldstein Auditorium. Tickets are available at Schine Box Office, priced at $3 for students, $5 for faculty and $7 for non-students.

This year’s theme is the Golden Age of Hollywood. Kaitlyn Ertl, the organization’s director, said the choice was inspired by some of the most iconic dance numbers of all time.

“A lot of us loved the classics and how timeless they were,” Ertl said. “The dancing, music and clothing of the Golden Age of Hollywood is very specific and unique.”

These “classics” could fall under anything from Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers tapping in “Swing Time” to a drenched Gene Kelly singing and dancing in the rain. While the dance numbers of Old Hollywood were characterized by their lengthy runs, they remain beloved and treasured to this day. Recent tributes to this old style of film include the Coen Brothers’ “Hail, Caesar!” and, of course, “La La Land.”

Despite the show’s specific theme, the showcase will include dance styles of all kinds. They also have many male dancers this year, offering some partner routines and variations in the choreography.

“One of the greatest things about DanceWorks, in my opinion, is how diverse our performance is,” Ertl said. “This year’s showcase has all different styles of dance ranging from hip-hop, contemporary, jazz, musical theater and tap so there is a little bit of something for everyone to enjoy.”

Senior and co-producer Raychel Renna is particularly excited about the wide array of pieces the showcase has to offer. Her dance is a sassy hip-hop number to Britney Spears that she said is sure to pump up the crowd, while her friend will perform a contemporary dance that “celebrates loving your body at any shape and size.”

“It is very emotional and will be sure to draw a few tears,” Renna said.

While the organization is completely student-run, DanceWorks carries itself with professionalism and expertise. The audition-based group only lets in experienced dancers, and is committed to putting out a top-notch performance each year.

“We’ve been working hard since October to put on our best showcase yet. This is the most diverse and talented group of dancers we’ve ever had,” Renna said.

The dancers have been rehearsing their routines once a week since the beginning of the year. Now that they are in the week of tech rehearsals, the dancers from each routine get to come together and bond over their love of dance.

Said Renna: “It’s a long and challenging week, but everyone grows closer and gets excited for the show.”

CORRECTION: In a previous version of this post, the event dates were misstated. The Danceworks annual spring showcase will be on Friday, March 3, and Saturday, March 4.


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