COVID-19: Senior dance majors take a hit

Senior dance majors are very upset over the campus shutdown amid COVID-19. As the university moves to online courses, dance majors are left with many questions.

As some prepared to perform in their last Junior Senior Showcase after returning from spring break, the cancellation and no thought to postpone the show left dancers at a loss.

“I am disappointed. Dance performances are something we work to organize and prepare for a lot ahead of time so it’s upsetting to see it be cancelled and not rescheduled,” said Ally Graf, a senior who majors in dance and psychology. 

The Junior Senior Showcase is a part of dance theatre, a mandatory program that dance majors and minors participate in. Dance students essentially run their own show during this event. All dancers are involved in the choreography, music and lighting with no help from faculty. This showcase teaches students a lot about responsibility and allows them to show off what they have learned. Many of the pieces that were to be performed had significant meaning to the dancers.

“I just wanted to dance to some fun music and have a good time in one of my last performances in the Barn as a senior. I was excited to dance to a mashup of Kanye West songs,” Graf said. 

With the growing concerns of Coronavirus, RWU dancers are wondering how dance classes will be held as the university transitions to online classes. 

“Other dancers and I are both curious and stressed about how they are going to go about having our dance courses online. A lot of our work consists of movement assignments and class performances,” Graf said. 

Not only was the university’s showcase cancelled, but the American College Dance Association’s (ACDA) competition, which was to be held in Vermont this year, was cancelled as well. At this event, RWU students are chosen by faculty to perform two or three pieces to compete against other college dance programs. Having this taken away from the dance majors as well leaves them feeling very empty inside. 

Graf said the hardest part about all of this is the thought of not being able to return to campus and dance one more time at the Barn. 

“Dance played a huge role in my life this semester and as a senior it hurts,” Graf said. “We [were] booked with rehearsals, guest artists, performances and extra rehearsals from the first weekend in January through Easter. There is just so much work put in outside of class that makes it being cancelled so disappointing.”