By: Molly Gase
Dance students, myself included, boarded the bus that would carry them away from the worries of school and toward the city that never sleeps. Then we all exited the bus as quickly as possible as the smoke poured out of it.
The flaming bus halted our progress and left us in a random super Wal-Mart in the middle of Pennsylvania. Nevertheless, the trip was memorable for all involved, exposing us all to the eclectic dance world of NYC.
The first major difference Sjoquist pointed out was that no bus would be boarded this time around. Sjoquist and I shared a laugh about the whole flaming bus scenario before moving on to the current trip and the other, less dangerous differences present.
The goal of this current Spring Break trip is similar to the previous one in that it helps to expose the young UA dancers to the profession in New York City. Networking with dance companies that have come to UA is a large part of that and allows the dancers to see them in their home environment.
Two years ago, that was the Paul Taylor Dance Company, where we took class in their new studios with their instructors. This time around, the dancers will be taking two master classes, or classes with professional members of a dance company.
Sjoquist said there will be “one with Larry Keigwin and the other with Eddie Taketa from Doug Varone and Dancers.” Both of these companies are ones that have visited and worked with UA dance students in the past.
While in the city, students will also have the opportunity to see a performance at the famous Joyce Theatre by Stephen Petronio. The dancers will be staying in the heart of the theater district for four nights at the Hotel Edison.
The cost to students for this trip, which included airfare to and from along with tickets and hotel fare, will be approximately $265. Sjoquist stated that “the department footed about $3,000 of the cost and Terpsichore (the UA dance club) matched that with [their] funds.”
This trip is a learning experience and it is required for dance students going on the trip to take a dance class in the city every day or to go to an audition. Some of the places students this year will be taking classes are dance centers Steps, Broadway Dance Center, Peridance and the Ailey School.
Sjoquist emphasized that the connections made when dance companies come to UA are of great importance when a trip like this comes along.
“The master classes are a great opportunity to reconnect with some of the amazing artists who we’ve been fortunate enough to work with in Akron,” Sjoquist said.
Doug Varone and Dancers came to Akron in 2008 and Keigwin in 2010.