On Nov. 21, 22 and 23, The College of Wooster student dancers took to the stage for the Fall Dance Concert in Freedlander Theatre. The event was directed by Kim Tritt, and is the last concert she will be directing at the College. Tritt shared the immense amount of work that goes into each performance. “The entire dance company meets once a week for ‘Sharings’ in which we view and provide feedback to one another [while dance pieces are works] in progress,” Tritt said. “As well, I meet individually once a week with each choreographer to provide feedback and support in relation to their work. In this way, I really get to know them as individuals who are on their artistic dance journey, many for the first time.”
The student dancers put immense thought behind their performances, which all had special meaning. Dancer Kathlyn MacDonald ’20’s piece focused strongly on individuality in relation to society, and how being unique is beautiful. As she said at the show, “No one has ever made a difference being like everyone else.” MacDonald said her piece was inspired by the movement to end gun violence that resulted from the Parkland shooting in 2018. “It was really inspiring to see the group of kids fighting for what they believed in and trying to make a change. They stood up for what they believed in even though it was controversial.”
The dance program at Wooster offers a strong sense of community and family. “The best part was working with the other dancers in the company and getting to bond with all of them,” commented Ivan Akiri ’22.
Student choreographers also played a large part in the Fall Dance Concert, as they created the dances for students to perform. Sarah Renaker ’21 was both a dancer and a choreographer, and greatly enjoyed being involved in the production. “Choreographing was by far my favorite thing though because coming up with the idea and teaching it to your dancers is fun, but watching them perform it at the end of the semester is a very rewarding thing. The concerts are always bittersweet because we get to show off what we have been working on all semester, but that also means that this season is over,” Renaker said.
“My experience was definitely very different than usual,” said Choreographer Nikki Preucil ’22. “I have always been a dancer, so being on the choreographer side this time and not dancing (due to an injury) was hard, but also very cool! I really still felt like I was a part of the show, particularly with having to present my quote each night. I would say the most enjoyable part for me was getting to see my vision on the stage, and seeing other people react to it. But also just the whole process in general was amazing: everyone was extremely helpful (particularly Kim Tritt) and the dancers were fantastic to work with.”
From a student perspective, the stage was alive with outstanding talent and creativity. Carly McWilliams ’22 always makes it a priority to attend each dance performance because she has “friends who work on these performances as dancers, choreographers, lighting directors and crew members, so getting to see the final product of all of their hard work is really amazing. The performances were powerful and uplifting, and I enjoyed every single one!”