Fall Dance Happening Showcases ‘Some of the Best Student Work Ever’”

By: Arianna Santiago

The University of Tampa’s Dance Happening ran from October 26-28th in the Falk Theater. 

“I’m so excited to see what creative minds are producing on our UT Campus,” said public relations and advertising major Kyree Sellman. “As someone who used to dance on the Hip-Hop team, I am always eager to see the talent that is produced through our university.” 

This event is a UT tradition that came about in the 1990s. The student-run event allows students to gain experience in choreography and performance and takes place every semester. 

“This dance happening is special because of the hard work and dedication each of the dancers has put in this year to make it impactful for the audience,” said elementary education major Haylee Bellina. 

The students who chose to choreograph have to take classes in improvisation, composition and choreography. They also have to have participated in one dance happening as a performer. 

“The Dance Happening is a transformative experience for many of our students, both choreographers and dancers,”  said dance program director Susannah LeMarquand. 

They work together to bring an abstract concept into reality through the creativity of dance and movement, by applying what they are learning in their pedagogy classes.  I think everyone will find something that they can really enjoy in this show — it is some of the best student work ever.”

Every choreographer for Dance Happening chooses a theme/motif to choreograph. They stem from life experiences and questions they want to creatively express through dance. There were 11 choreographers this year. 

“I love dance because it connects people without forcing them to speak. Dance allows us to get away for a little and just move our bodies,” said choreographer and senior economics major Melissa Kaliberda. “If you get picked to choreograph you also get assigned a mentor who works with you throughout the whole process. Each dance professor mentors a choreographer or two during dance happening.”

The dance department also had a QR code that the audience could scan to donate to the department. 

“The dance program asks for donations to use to bring guest artists and talented educators to help expose dancers to other styles and forms of technique,” said Dance Happening performer and dance major Victoria DeLaurentis. “Dance is very broad, and with help through donations, important figures in the dance world, such as choreographers and professional athletes can strengthen the experience of this program.”

The next dance event of this semester is the Evening of Experimental Dance. It will take place in a combination of Plant Park and Plant Hall Verandah. This event is sponsored by the UT dance program. 
According to UT’s website, “This is a special event…that allows students to share their artistic talents in alternative performance spaces and venues.”  It is a free event that will also include choreographed dances by faculty and professional artists.

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