An Evening of Dance

On a Friday night, students, faculty and family gather in the Sawyer Center auditorium. Chatter dies down as the Dance Club’s officers appear onstage. After a short introduction, club president Sierra Lemieux-Rossi ’23 encourages the crowd to cheer as loud as they can for the hardworking dancers. The officers exit to thunderous applause.

This was the first time in two years that the Dance Club has been able to perform at the Sawyer Center. Renovations to the building moved their show to Wheeler Hall in spring 2020, and the COVID-19 pandemic significantly changed the 2020-2021 shows. Dance Club performed in the Hogan Sports Center to a small, socially distanced audience. Luckily, this year they were able to return to normal.

With several dozen active members, Dance Club is one of the largest clubs at Colby-Sawyer. This semester’s show featured 15 numbers by 12 choreographers. Jenna CaraDonna ’23 choreographed a contemporary number to Aurora’s “Running With the Wolves.” CaraDonna describes the process as gratifying, saying, “Being able to form friendships with other dancers and share my creative visions with them has been very important to me.” They already have their music picked out for next semester.

“What makes the club environment so great is the community and support system we have,” says Hannah Murphy ’24. “Everyone is so nice, and there’s no toxic competition between people. We all want each other to be the best we can and always encourage that!” Murphy has been a part of Dance Club for two years, and performed in five of the 15 dances. She has been dancing since she was a child, but says that performing with the club has increased her confidence in her abilities and made her fall even more in love with dance.

The week leading up to the show is perhaps the busiest of the semester, with hours-long, full-cast rehearsals every night. CaraDonna says it’s one of their favorite things about Dance Club: “Everyone is together, and you can see just how hard everyone has worked to get where they are.”

But while the dancers dazzle the crowd, a whole other group of people work their magic backstage. In another return to tradition, director Mike Lovell’s Stagecraft class was responsible for lighting all 15 numbers. Katja Delgiado ’25 lit two. “Lighting is the most subtle form of art,” she says. “A lighting designer creates the emotion and state of a whole crowd without any intermediary.”

The Dance Club performed on November 5 and 6 and filmed the show for those who could not attend. The recording can be viewed here.