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Dance Department pops off at pop-up

Dance+Department+pops+off+at+pop-up
Sean Stroud

The Eastfield Dance Department’s Fall Concert takes place at 7:30, on Thursday, Nov 30 and Friday, Dec 1 in the Performance Hall and is free to attend.

To drum up hype for their show, a pop-up was held in the Performance Hall lobby Nov. 20. The first dance was a duet choreographed and performed by dance student Lola Demanh with Jude Wilson. The two dancers showed off both their teamwork and individuality by dancing as a pair and breaking off to dance separately.

The pop-up continued with a solo choreographed and performed by dance major Trinity Criner, who’s been dancing since she was two.

Criner’s dance full of spins and twirls went off without a hitch despite being the center of attention. Criner says that she enjoys performances like these because they help get the nerves out ahead of the big show and that a good portion of the work is put into the choreography.

“Yes, I get [brain block] a lot,” she said. “Figuring it out starts with what style you want, then figuring out what concept you want.” 

The grind doesn’t stop there, however, because Criner says that “changes are made all the time.”

“Changes can be made up to the performance week because you have to be prepared for everything,” Criner said. “Sometimes you can have a dancer that is hurt or sick then you have to reblock the entire thing. It can be stressful, but at the end of the day once you get on stage, all of the nerves go away.”

Next up was a trio choreographed by adjunct Robert Alavez that involved Kenny Johnson, Frank Alvarez and Angel Ramirez stacking on top of one another, crawling under each other and rolling around on the floor in spectacular fashion.

The next trio was created by a new addition to the staff, Tiffany Frame, who is an Eastfield alumnus. Georgiou was beaming as she introduced the dance.

“We really try to keep it in the family,” Georgiou said.

Speaking of the “family”, they were up next. Georgiou performed a modern dance piece alongside Alvarez and technical specialist Niels Winter, in which they performed handstands and exercised precise body control by posing. After finishing, Georgiou took up the mic to explain that she still takes a dance class every semester and suggested that others do it as well, all while out of breath from her exhausting performance.

“It shows [the students] that you’ll never stop learning, no matter how much experience you have,” Georgiou said. “It shows them too that when you’re dancing on stage, the playing field is even. We’re all in the same position together.”

The creative process, while freeing, can often turn into grueling work, so Georgiou puts in the extra effort to make sure her students are supported as they pursue their passions.

“It’s a lot of hours, but we create as safe and collaborative of an environment as possible,” Georgiou said. “And yeah, we’re spending 6-7 hours together twice a week, but we’re a family. We’re here to uplift and support each other and to give each other feedback or to teach each other new skills. I think that is what makes it all feel not like work, but like making art.”

Dancing anywhere in front of anyone is already a daunting task, so to do it on stage certainly takes real guts. Just like anything else in life, Georgiou acknowledged that taking the first step is the hardest part.

“Just jump in feet first,” Georgiou said. “Dance is incredibly freeing for the mind and the body, and is incredible for your emotional and mental health because it’s a physical exercise that taps into creativity in ways that others don’t necessarily. Dance gives you this chance to take all of the thoughts and stories that happen in your mind and physically just put them out there with no judgment. You could dance in your living room all day long, but you could also dance with a nice costume and big lights and your friends on stage.”

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