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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Last call for all dancers

The end of the year marks many things: finals, projects to turn in, degree audits, Ring Day and graduation. And the Dance Arts Society (DAS) marks the end of the semester with the annual Spring Curtain Call.
Dance Arts Society, a student-run organization, welcomes students to either take weekly dance classes or participate in the Curtain Call at the end of each semester.
“Some people do both or just participate in the show or just take classes,” said Emily Eye, senior biology major and DAS vice president.
Near the end of the semester, three showings determine which members participate in and choreograph the show.
“During the first showing you explain what pieces you will have, when you will audition and how many people you want. Auditions go on the next week; you go to whatever audition you want to go to, you make some, and you don’t make some,” said Kim Johnson, senior international studies major and president of DAS.
Officers observe the dances and decide which pieces will be performed.
“It really doesn’t have anything to do how advanced your piece is; it’s more to do with if we think it will add something to the show,” Johnson said. “If we think you have high energy or it looks really clean then those are some of the qualities we look for.”
The maximum amount of dances a member can participate in is four.
“For each dance, you practice once a week for one hour,” said Danielle Burleigh, sophomore business major and DAS public relations coordinator. “We also offer dance classes, three on Wednesday and one on Tuesday,”
Classes offered by the Dance Arts Society include jazz, hip-hop, contemporary and strength and flexibility.
“The format of our show is the same every semester,” Eye said. “We go about it the same way, but the pieces are different every semester and the choreographers are different. Even though the structure is the same, the pieces are always very different from year to year.”
Sunday’s Curtain Call included 18 dance pieces, along with three guest performances, including Chi O Productions, the Aggie Fiddlers and Aggie dance team.
“After we decide which pieces will be in the show, we put down the show order. That has a lot to with trying to make sure people aren’t in dances back to back. Usually there’s only about 40 to 50, but this year there are about 70. So some girls will have really fast costume changes,” Johnson said.
The Curtain Call lasted about two hours.
“Usually, we try to open the show with a high energy piece and try to end it with a high energy hip hop or jazz,” Johnson said. “We just try to keep the audience attention and not try to do a lot of slow ones at once.”
There are no auditions to become a member of the DAS, and any student can join.
“There are all levels of dancers,” Burleigh said. “We have people who have never ever danced and people that have danced all their lives.”
Many officers have been in the society since entering A&M and come from all levels of dance background.
“I love the fact that in Dance Arts you don’t have to be a perfect prima ballerina dancer,” Johnson said.
Johnson said DAS gives A&M students an enjoyable outlet and organization to join.
“We welcome everyone into our organization, but at the same time if you want to perform there are also those aspects. I danced every day of the week in high school, Dance Arts Society allowed me to really be creative and continue my love for dance throughout college without being graded on it like you would if you majored it in or minored in it.”
Eye said she likes the creativity DAS allows her to have with dance.
“I think the best thing about Dance Arts and our show is that we give students free artistic range to choreograph pieces for the show,” she said. “We don’t put any restrictions on anything. It just really gives students a creative outlook that isn’t offered anywhere else on campus.”
About 500 people attended the Curtain Call.
“This semester is going to be really good,” Eye said. “It’s one of the best. I’ve been in Dance Arts for seven semesters now, and the level of performance has been the best that I’ve seen it.”
For more informationabout Dance Arts Society visit dancearts.tamu.edu

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