The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The beat goes on: El Camino Dance students prepare for last showcase

El Camino College Dance professors Daniel Berney, Elizabeth Adamis and Jonathan Bryant give their feedback to their students after the dress rehearsal for the Fall Advanced Dance Concert at the Marsee Auditorium on Nov. 9. (Ma. Gisela Ordenes | The Union)

As you walk into the Physical Education South building, the sound of music fills the air.

Beats and melodies bounce off every wall, consuming the space around you.

The sound of instructors teaching grows louder with each step taken up the stairs. As you reach the dance studios, students can be seen practicing all manner of dances.

The last week of school for choreography students is spent preparing for the Choreography Showcase on Thursday, Dec. 14 and Friday, Dec. 15.

As the last showcase of the semester, choreography students get to show off everything they’ve learned in their classes.

“They learned how to choreograph, they learned how to light a [dance], they learned how to be in a tech situation with costumes and music, and it’s a really great learning process and procedure for them,” Assistant Professor of Dance Elizabeth Adamis said.

Professor of Dance Daniel Berney said the students will be performing dances that were made up entirely by them.

“It’s the students with their creativity, unbridled enthusiasm,” Berney said. “We really just navigate them into what it would take to make it more presentable for an audience.”

Even the dance moves themselves were created by students, Adamis said.

Before students learn about choreography, they learn how to create authentic movement, so the moves they incorporate aren’t copied from somewhere else she said.

“Obviously some of that comes into play, but it’s really about them making their own creative choices in a dance and arranging it the way they want to,” Adamis said.

With upwards of 20 dances in the showcase, each around seven minutes long. A lot of time and effort has gone into the creation of both the dances and the show.

“It’s a lot more involved than people think,” Adamis said. “Everyone thinks, you know, I’m just going to make a little dance, but it’s actually difficult to make a dance, and they learned that quickly.”

The showcase will feature many different genres of dance, including ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, jazz, modern and world music.

Berney said that this event is unique since students begin with their own personal styles and are encouraged to learn other genres.

“They’re being encouraged to go out of their comfort zone, and choreograph a lot of different genres and music that they normally wouldn’t,” Berney said.

For 22-year-old dance major Faith Grissett, this showcase produces a lot of emotions.

Grissett said the dancers have been working on the choreography for the showcase since day one.

“It gets crazier closer to [the Choreography Showcase] so your nerves are all over the place but at the same time, you just have to keep your emotions together so nothing will go wrong,” Grissett said.

She said students were given 45 minutes per class to work on their dances for the showcase, as well as one rehearsal per week.

“For some people, that’s not enough time so we would find time to come outside of class to practice our dances,” Grissett said.

For the showcase, Grissett will perform five dances, including a solo.

After putting in countless hours working on them over the past four months, she’s both excited and anxious.

“I’ll probably be a little bit nervous, but once I get on stage that usually goes away,” Grissett said. “I try to think about other stuff and try to get myself hyper so I won’t be nervous.”

After a final run-through of the showcase on Wednesday, Dec. 13, the students will be ready to take the stage.

Tickets are available at the El Camino College ticket site or call (310) 329-5345.

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