Annual Dance Project to be performed this weekend


Senior dance major Hannah McCarthy performs her solo piece that she choreographed for the show. This piece is part of her thesis, which is a study of feminism in modern dance history. “It is the first time I’ve truthfully expressed feelings about some of the hardest moments of my life on stage,” McCarthy said.

Sarah Yaccoub

Every fall, students in WKU’s dance program independently choreograph and submit routines to the department faculty. A select group of submissions is chosen to be performed at the Dance Project concert, which this year will run from Feb. 9 to Feb. 11.

The roles are open to all students currently enrolled in a dance class at the university, regardless of major. Many of the participants are majoring in dance, but others are studying musical theatre or other subjects.

The performance’s student choreographers have been preparing for the event for quite a while, with most beginning the planning process in early fall or before. Dancers have also been rehearsing their roles for some time, sharpening their skills in order to showcase their best work for the concert this month.   

“The event is extremely important to student dancers,” Nashville senior Hannah McCarthy said. “It gives us a chance to express our artistic voices in a public setting.”

McCarthy is a dance major and journalism double major and former Herald features editor who is working both on dance and choreography for the upcoming concert. She currently works for the Talisman. This is her fourth year participating in the Dance Project in some capacity, and she said that to her, “expression through movement performance” is critical to letting her voice be heard.  

Beyond providing an outlet to the dancers, the Dance Project acts as a creative display for the work of choreographers.

“It gives students an opportunity to be exposed to new choreography while also giving young choreographers more experience,” Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, senior Miriam Gaines said.  

Gaines has been involved with The Dance Project since her freshman year, first as a dancer, then as a choreographer, and now, the student director.  

She said the event is valuable to the students of the dance program because it “provides [them] the opportunity to expand their choreographic skills, express their artistic freedom and work with their peers.”

Tickets to see the Dance Project are $6 each and are available on or at the door, although seating is limited. Performances will be held Feb. 9 at 8 p.m., Feb. 10 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Feb. 11 at 3 p.m.  The concert will take place in the Gordon Wilson Hall Lab Theatre. 

Features reporter Sarah Yaacoub can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @sarahyaacoub1.