York dance groups move the hearts of many during Fine Arts Week

March 3, 2022

If you missed the YDC and Advanced Dance showcase, check it out here! –> FAW Adv Dance and YDC

The York Dance Company (YDC)  and Advanced Dance program gives students the opportunity to create and perform dance pieces of various styles. During Fine Arts Week, the YDC and Adv. Dance performers put together a showcase of their signature pieces in the black box theater. The return of FAW brought back the contemporary pieces of YDC and dancers were elated to show what they created. 

“For me, the dance performance was fairly sentimental due to the return to Fine Arts Week and having the opportunity to perform in front of our peers,” senior and dancer Taylor Headley said. “So often, I feel that live performance can be taken for granted. We truly form a family within Advanced Dance and York Dance Company. Everyone’s ideas are welcome and the space has a positivity that cannot be topped.”

YDC and Adv. Dance not only gives students the opportunity to perform special dances but also to choreograph pieces of their own. Freshman Brooklyn Nuss choreographed a dance, “The Joke” which expressed a message of vulnerability.

“The piece follows a kid being bullied, but ends up being on top of the bullies, that they are now ‘The Joke’ being laughed at,” Nuss said.  “In this, the dancers are divided into two groups, [the] bullied and bullies. One main thing that I was going for in the process was to make sure that the movements the two groups were doing contrasted each other while complimenting their looks. I also wanted the dancers to be able to express the piece in their own way to give them creative freedom. Everyone’s outlook on the dance, while given the same storyline, slightly differs while maintaining the same concept of the story.”

This year, the dance pieces were created surrounding a common theme of community and togetherness. Many of the pieces followed this theme in different ways in which connected to the dancers’ lives today. 

“My favorite dance from the show is a tie between “Brother” and “Closure,” junior and dancer Avery Kendrick said. “’Brother’” is the piece we had the most time to develop and a lot of us seemed to connect to it the most. I also loved ‘Closure’ because it feels very symbolic of the times we’re in. This year we’ve gotten closure on a lot of the things we’ve missed out on over the past couple of years.”

Performers worked carefully to understand each movement and lyric the songs and dances conveyed in order to give the best performance they could. The process behind learning the message is just as important as learning the physical movements. 

“My favorite thing about learning the dances was seeing how each choreographer’s personal interpretation of the songs were reflected into the moves,” sophomore and dancer Jack Davies said. “Their unique personalities created the amazing dances we got to perform. Throughout the month we had to learn it, I loved listening to the song and beginning to understand the purpose and position of each move as it relates to the whole of the dance and the message.”

In order to participate in the dance programs, students need to go through an audition process. People of various dance backgrounds and experiences are able to join and are encouraged to do so by current students. 

“I’ve been dancing for most of my life before taking Advanced Dance,” senior and dancer Lauren Deely said.  “This helped influence my performance in Advanced Dance because I have experience performing in front of different audiences. Even though I have been dancing for a long time, Advanced Dance has widened my perspective with different types of choreography.”

Overall, audience members were pulled into the dancers’ performances during the showcase with their vivid movements and lyrical messages. The whole showcase was filled with feelings of unity and perseverance, all in which were brightly represented in the dancers. If you missed this powerful dance showcase, don’t fret. York Dance Company and Advanced Dance will be performing again in the black box theater on Wed. March 9 at 7:30 p.m. 

The dance “Closure” was interpreted from a poem and the final line of the poem asks “and what are we to each other if not everything?” senior and dancer Rosie Kungl said. “I feel like that line connects to my life because I feel that all of the relationships I have made with others have built me into the person I am today. Everyone depends on one another to get by and since friendship and communication are such a large part of my life this quote seems to reflect the importance of the connections I have made throughout my life.”

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