Last weekend, the Baylor dancers enriched the Roddy Theater with yet another incredible performance, showcasing even more student talent both on and off the stage.
Throughout the school year, Baylor dance instructors Cathy Pettway, Elizabeth Roemer, Jennia Shanley, and Margaret Harman have continuously given dancers opportunities to cultivate their leadership and creative skills by working with other students to produce original pieces. This show in particular highlighted the extensive work being done in the middle school, which has a curriculum that includes many different styles of dance, including tap that was added this year.
There was even more collaboration between the younger and older students this season because of the inclusion of middle schoolers in some of the upper school pieces, creating an inspiring dynamic in rehearsals among students who have danced all seven years at Baylor and those who just started this year. Sophomore Megha Chanamolu mixed things up with a sassy, jazzy hip-hop piece inspired by Rosie the Riveter and female empowerment, while Frances Brantley explored faith and remembrance through a softer, lyrical number. After having already choreographed twelve other pieces during her time at Baylor, senior Cecilia Rodriguez composed yet another stunning piece that was unique and captivating in its exploration of the complexity of the self. Sophomore Mary Alex Bachus chose a more unconventional route by choreographing a contemporary trio to a spoken word poem which explores the concept of identity in the face of societal pressures. She explained that Last Chance Dance and other student choreography performances are important because “choreography can be a voice for those who are afraid to use theirs.”
Seniors Cecilia Rodriguez and Lily Zabel choreographed and performed their own senior solos as a tribute to their cherished time on the stage at Baylor. Lily hopes that her tap number caught the attention of future potential tappers in the middle school dance program as the tap curriculum continues to grow. Cecilia’s piece, “Torch,” was a combination of past choreography from her Baylor dance career and a physical representation of the graduating students passing on the “Torch” to the next generation of Baylor dancers, who she included in her piece at the end. This was also the last Baylor show for technician Nick Perlaky, who has played an instrumental role in producing exceptional lights and sound for every production in the Roddy Theater since his arrival at Baylor.
As dance director Cathy Pettway steps down, we are excited to announce the new Baylor Dance co-directors: Elizabeth Roemer and Margaret Harman. Stay tuned next year to see even more student talent in EMCO, Verve, and Last Chance Dance!