Dance to Impress: What it takes to Choreograph for Dance Club

Kayla Ebner, Editor in Chief

Choreographing a dance can be a very difficult and intimidating undertaking. A choreographer must think about formations, movement and how they want the audience to view their dance.

RWU’s Dance Club just finished their audition process for the spring show, which will take place on Wed., April 10. For the officers of this club, not only do they choreograph their own dances, they also oversee the audition process for all dancers who are looking to show their own pieces in the show.

The first step to this process starts with deciding which choreographers’ dances they will showcase. This year, 15 dancers auditioned to choreograph, and three were cut to keep the show at a reasonable length.

All four Dance Club officers look for different things in choreographers because of their unique styles, but there are a few things that everyone must show. One of the most important, according to Sarah White, senior and treasurer of Dance Club, is overall preparedness.

“We want to see that there is a vision behind the choreography and there was time put into creating it,” said White.

When it comes to this vision, every choreographer is going to have a different goal they want to reach when performing their piece. For White, her dance this semester is fun and upbeat, so she focused more on visualizing what the audience would enjoy, rather than tapping into her personal emotions. 

“For me, it’s all about making the audience have a good time at our show and enjoy watching us perform,” she said.

Once the choreographers were selected, a “showing” was organized for all members of Dance Club to come see which dances they want to audition for. The choreographers performed their pieces in front of over 100 dancers who were eager to try out.

Natasha McLeod, sophomore dance and psychology major, is choreographing for her first time in college. As a dance major, McLeod said she’s learned a lot from the modern program about how to choreograph a dance. She’s still trying to get a handle on her own individual choreographing process, but for this particular piece, she choreographed to the song.

“I really had to listen to the background beats along with the words and kind of just form something that was not only touching to the viewers, but also movement wise enhanced the quality of the music,” said McLeod.

For the spring show, she produced a beautiful contemporary piece to “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off” by Ella Eyre.

Russell Azzarello, senior communications major is choreographing for his second time in Dance Club. He describes his start with dancing as “catching the bug.” He always liked dancing but never got into it until a couple friends dragged him to a dance club event one day. Azzarello was impressed by senior Samantha Verity’s dance moves, inspiring him to start dancing.

“I like exercise, and [dance] is an art form that uses the body,” said Azzarello. 

The officers, also including junior Secretary Lucia Petruccelli and senior Vice President Maddie Pizzuti, have been dancing since they were very little. White referred to this final Dance Club Show as the “last hoo-rah,” and all three seniors were very emotional about their last show.

For these dancers, inspiration for choreography comes from many different places. Senior and president of Dance Club, Cassie Myers, said she sometimes gets inspiration online by watching dances from talented hip-hop crews or competition dances. For this show, she wants to make it the best one yet. 

“I’ve done quite a few pieces for dance club and each one has been special to me,” said Myers. “It’s crazy to think how special this is going to be too, in a different way.”