Students choreograph, produce dance shows for final projects

Dancers rehearse 7 days a week for weekend series

This weekend, the work of six IU seniors in the Individualized Major Program will come to fruition. At 8 p.m. tonight in the John Waldron Arts Center, these seniors -- who have chosen to major in Dance Performance through the IMP -- will perform and present their final projects in a series called "Revival: The Rebirth of Dance". \nErin Pritchard and Brittany Snyder are two of the seniors who chose to major in dance performance and will be presenting their final project in the show. Pritchard and Snyder have been working on their final project for the past two months. The hard work and time put into the presentation have made the two realize choosing to do the IMP major has not been an easy walk in the park, they said.\n"For the dance performance major, I have planned, produced, choreographed and will dance in a senior concert, and this has entailed many, many hours of rehearsal time," Pritchard said. "I have had rehearsals 7 days a week for the past two months, as well as working on programs, posters, lighting and costume ideas."\nFaculty member Liz Shea, who has mentored the women and other dancers within the major, said students who cannot find what they need in a traditional major can devise their own plan in the IMP. \n"Students, with the help of their committee and sponsor, design their own curriculum according to their program of study," Shea said. "Each IMP student must do a senior project."\nPritchard said those who chose to study through the IMP program had to go in front of a board and propose their major while the board checked their grade point averages and the curriculum they devised. \nPritchard was involved with the African-American Dance Company her freshman year and chose to do the IMP major to focus more closely on her passion for dance. \n"The idea for our major, dance performance, came from Liz (Shea)," Pritchard said. "I decided to pursue it because, although IU does offer a dance minor, I really wanted to study dance more intensely and seriously." \nFor the dance performance major, the women had to take many dance classes from various disciplines, such as ballet, modern, jazz, dance composition courses and dance history. They have studied all aspects of dance, such as performing, producing and choreography. \n"I have chosen (the IMP) major because I feel that there is no department at this University that offers a dance major that focuses on various forms of dance other than classical ballet," Snyder said. \nSnyder also feels the program has potential to evolve in the future. \n"Through a large number of students involved in the IMP dance performance major program this year and in the future, we can help jump-start the ideas for a dance major offered through the HPER (School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation)," she said.\nThe final projects of the IMP dance performance majors will be a series of three concerts. Tonight's show will begin at 8 p.m. in the John Waldron Arts Center, located at 122 S. Walnut St. The second and third performances will begin at 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday in the Willkie Quad Auditorium. Each concert will showcase various types of dance, ranging from modern to jazz, lyrical and hip-hop.\nPritchard and Snyder said all of the dances in each show are original works. The six Dance majors choreographed most of the pieces in the concert, while other dance students choreographed others.\n"Most pieces were picked because of the preference of the choreographer," Snyder said. "I tend to pick music that I feel could work for a certain style or theme of dance because music has a huge influence on my creative process." \nShea, who has taught classes in the IMP curriculum, mentored and choreographed the performers and said she is looking forward to the various performances.\n"The concerts are going to be absolutely fantastic," she said. "This series will certainly contribute to the contemporary dance community here at IU."\n-- Contact staff writer Katie Killebrew at

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