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Dance event to feature PSU student performances

PSU’s Dance Research & Symposium, “A Light on the Horizon,” is planned for next week on Wednesday, April 14. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with displays of research projects in the lobby of the Bicknell and performances will follow at 7:30 p.m. in the Linda & Lee Scott Performance Hall. 

The event will be hosted in the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts with a limited audience of 230. It will also be livestreamed at pittstate.tv and Facebook.com/Bicknell Center. 

It will feature 16 dances, performed by 60 PSU students.  

Morgan Grotheer, freshman in communication and with a minor in dance, will perform her own dance, ‘Unwritten.”  

“This dance is incredibly special for me,” Grotheer said. “A good friend called it my butterfly moment, and I have to agree. It is very much me publicly acknowledging the past two years of my life. I wanted it to be authentic from the start and had to constantly remind myself to welcome vulnerability with open arms.”  

The routine will involve water on stage.  

“…I originally got the idea from a previous PCT show, Grapes of Wrath,” Grotheer said. “I absolutely love doing crazy things onstage that make the audience think.”  

Grotheer’s dance was influenced by personal losses, including her mother’s death.  

“Prep work for this dance has been trips down memory lane that haven’t always been pleasant,” Grotheer said. “Being honest with myself and keeping the goals clear has been a big struggle. I hope to bring light to several situations. My mom always told me that we don’t get to pick the cards we are dealt, but we have the power to react. She always told me that you never know how strong you are until there is no other choice. I simply want to make her proud.”  

Hayley Monday, sophomore in interior design with a minor in dance, choreographed her dance, ‘Seven,’ using contemporary ballet.  

“The dance ‘Seven’ is based off of my enneagram number,” Monday said. “A seven is always on the search for a new adventure, anticipating what’s to come, (and) hungry for more. Learning about enneagram numbers and the meanings behind each of them has helped develop my soft skills. I have a deeper understanding of how to collaborate with others, how to better my relationships with those around me, and overall understand how I grow as an individual. The meaning behind the dance revolves around the idea that for most of us, we are only in college once. There’s only so many years we have to experiment, learn, (and) develop as young adults. This life is whatever you make it to be. Have ambition and take pride in all you do.”  

Additionally, PSU student Elizabeth Hayes will perform two original routines, “PULSE” and “Societal Confinement.” PSU students Morgan Smith and Breonna Goodwin will perform a dance they choreographed together “A Little Too Much.” Smith will also perform another one of her dances, “Three Sisters.” Abbey Sommerauer, a graduate assistant, will perform her dance “Toward the Sun.” Amber Kennebeck will perform her own dance, titled “Yours.” Helee Harpenau will perform “How Will I Know,” an original dance.  

The evening will also feature two dances rooted in folklore, one in Mexican culture and one in Hungarian folk dance, western swing, and polka, as well as two numbers for the hit musicals “Hairspray” and “Chicago.” The PSU Crimson and Gold Dancers will perform a hip-hop routine and a pom performance.  

“When I choreograph, I like to listen to the song nonstop on repeat,” Monday said. “I also read the lyrics multiple times. I try to listen to the different tones and musicality within the song so I can incorporate those into the dance. In the song this line is repeated several times: ‘I’m ready for whatever comes next.’ I wanted to apply this line throughout the dance by using the stage, constantly moving upstage and downstage to incorporate the different directions and paths that I have gone through within my college career this far. I hope the audience takes away that life is not one narrow, straight path; we are allowed to choose the ‘road less traveled.”  

Monday hopes for high viewership of the event. 

 “I hope that everyone comes out to watch the show or watch it live,” Monday said. “Dr. Jewett, graduate assistant Abbey, the dancers and Bicknell center staff have put countless hours into this show and have gone above and beyond for the HHPR department. I am truly grateful to be a part of a wonderful program.”  

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