Seniors reflect on their last dance production

Madison Martin

With the spring semester coming to a close, final tests and award ceremonies aren’t the only things scheduled on the books. 

“Evening of Dance,” the WKU Dance Company’s last performance of the school year, is set to showcase a variety of dance pieces. But for the senior dance majors, this will be their last performance here. 

Lexington senior Nathan Fister said he’s excited to be a part of it, enjoying the production for all that it is, while getting ready for graduation and what’s to come afterwards.

“I remember my first show, so it’s very like, you know, (a) full-circle, bittersweet moment,” he said.

The production will feature styles such as ballet, 3-2 tango, jazz, contemporary and more.

Nashville senior Alicia Brooks described assistant professor of dance Lisa Draskovich-Long’s performance, a 3-2 tango, as a very different piece in which dancers are “… moved by somebody else, but at the same time, you are dancing… we mimic each other— we manipulate each other.”

Brooks was excited about assistant professor of dance, Eric Rivera’s modern contemporary-styled performance, which was created in collaboration with the art department. Paintings of dancers will be displayed on stage where the performers will pose as the image in the same way, creating the quality of “art coming to life.”

This will be Charlotte, North Carolina senior Jameelah Baker’s first time performing in “Evening of Dance.” She said students have been rehearsing for the production since the beginning of the spring semester. 

A studio dancer and competitor since the age of seven, Baker had been undecided as to whether she should get her degree in dance, and spent some time in broadcasting at one point. 

“I kind of didn’t really know exactly what I should do and kind of looking for others to tell me what I should do,” she said. “But I think once I found out and talked to myself, and found myself, I knew that dance was what I wanted to do.”

For some students, the dance program  has helped them grow as individuals.

Being an adolescent and clocking in four hours of practice a day ended up transitioning itself to practicing all day at the college-level, Fister said. 

“Time management is a big thing within our program… so sometimes, you could be in the studio from 9 o’clock in the morning to 9 o’clock at night,” he said.

Brooks attested to how physically and mentally tasking being a dance major can be.

“Our program can wear you down,” she said. “It can tear you down. Like, you physically can feel, mentally feel, horrible about yourself, but it is what you make it. And if you overcome that and surpass it, it’s one of the greatest feelings.” 

The challenges endured in college, Brooks said, were important to teach students how the real world industry really is.

“You have to have the willpower and drive to overcome it, and somehow I stuck it out four years,” she said, “so I’m glad I did, but it’s definitely my time to start the next chapter of my life.”