I have been dancing since a young age and when I started to look at colleges for my undergraduate education, I wanted a place where I would still be able to dance. One of the reasons that I chose Elmira College was because I would still be able to dance when I wanted. This blog post is dedicated to the art of dance at EC and how it is addressed on campus!
D - Danceline - Danceline is our dance team, here at EC. They perform dances that are a mix of hip-hop and jazz style during the half-time of Varsity Basketball games. They usually rehearse every night and learn new choreography for each performance. I am not personally a member of Danceline because I do not have enough time to commit to the team, but they are a club that prides themselves on teamwork. They are a really close-knit group that love to have fun no matter the place or time.
A - Audition & Perform - Every term, the Orchesis club creates a dance show that is presented to the entire campus as an ENCORE event. So, before rehearsals start, there are auditions for dances within the Orchesis club, but other dance clubs and students at EC are able to audition as well. So, both Danceline and EC Tap Ensemble audition pieces every term. After the auditions, we have rehearsals for almost a full week before the opening night of the show. I really enjoy our Orchesis Tech Week because it is the one time where all three dance clubs are together. Most dancers belong to more than one dance club, so it is really great to be able to share the experience of the Orchesis Show with all the dancers of Elmira College.
N - No Major - Elmira College does not have a dance major, but we do offer a couple of classes per term that are in the dance genre. Our professor is really great and very helpful, as she owns her own studio in the area and is an alumna of EC! There is both the beginner and the intermediate/advanced level for the class, but most are mixed with different skill-levels. I find this to be ideal because the beginner students are learning new dance steps, while the more advanced students are practicing and refining them. The instructor, Mia Wise '92 also choreographs a dance for the students in the classes to audition and perform during the Orchesis show. I really loved taking the Orchesis Class because it was a fun time, doing something that I love, while getting a grade for it ... what's better than that?
C - Club Orchesis - This year I am the Treasurer for Orchesis, so I have a more in-depth look into what makes a dance club on campus run. What is unique about Orchesis is that we only meet on the weekends and you sign up for the dances that you want to be in. At the beginning of the term, we officers hold a meeting and play the songs that we have choreographed for the show. Then, everyone signs up for the dances that they like. This is a lot less of a time commitment because each dance only meets for an hour on either Saturday or Sunday, and then we also have Tech Week before the performances. Orchesis' styles range anywhere from lyrical to jazz to hip-hop, so there are a lot of opportunities to learn how to dance or just craft your skill!
E - EC Tap Ensemble - This is the ALL TAP club, where the only style of dance that is practiced and performed is tap. Much like Orchesis, the Officers of Tap Ensemble will hold a meeting, usually the first week of classes in September, and play their music for people to sign up for. These are one hour slots and they are offered every night, depending on the song and choreographer. Before I came to EC, I had only tapped to teach three-year-olds how to shuffle, so through my experiences as a member of EC Tap Ensemble, I have learned how to tap and can call myself a tap dancer now! The Officers are always willing to teach new steps and break it down for beginners, which is what is so great about coming in with no tap knowledge. This is also a close-knit group of dancers, as many people do between three and five dances with Tap. EC Tap Ensemble also has a culminating show at the beginning of Term II.
So, those are the dance clubs at EC. Overall, all of the dance clubs on campus really work together to make Elmira College a strong dance community! The Term II Orchesis Shows are March 21st and 22nd at 8pm and March 23rd at 2pm in Gibson Theatre. Make sure you get your tickets!