Spring dance show fundraises for Project Sunshine

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Dancers rehearse for the Terra’s “Colors of Spring” for the upcomming spring dance. (Anna Klug I Concordiensis)

Project Sunshine, a club devoted to volunteering at Pathways Rehabilitation Center, will be hosting a dance show titled “The Evolution of Dance” on April 15. My co-editor, Jenna Salisbury, and I interviewed director and performer Emily Su, about the upcoming event.

Su is a junior with an interdepartmental major in biology and economics. She started dancing traditional Chinese folk dance when she was six years old and began American dance styles when she was 10.

When asked what dance means to her, she stated, “Dance began as a recreational activity but has since grown to be an indispensable part of my life. I am happiest when I dance, and it provides me the balance I need with all my other responsibilities.”

Su is now the captain and choreographer of Terra Dance Company and she, along with students in charge of other dance groups on campus and members of Project Sunshine, organized the show.

Students of all class years and majors have volunteered their talents and time to this performance in support of Pathways. Other dance clubs include U Break, Hip Hop Club, Payal and the Union Dance College Team. Cassie Padilla ’17 also designed the program, flyer, and tickets.

As stated before, the proceeds of this show will benefit Pathways Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Niskayuna, New York. Pathways provides medical and rehabilitative treatments to patients who are suffering from mental or physical disorders or recovering from illness or surgery.

Their compassionate staff facilitates a nurturing environment that ensures the wellbeing of patients. Su informed us that she has been volunteering at Pathways since her freshman year and she now recruits volunteers and plans events for Project Sunshine.

The show’s theme, “The Evolution of Dance” features dance genres from around the world during different time periods. The 13 dances will include ballet, Indian, Chinese, Latin ballroom, Jamaican, breakdance, hip-hop, jazz, and cotemporary.

Su informed us that the audience will not only be able to experience these beautiful and varying forms of dance, but they will also be exposed to the origins of each dance.

Su described to us a brief glimpse of what audience members will get to see. “Emcees will help guide the show with a carefully crafted story that links regions of the world together, transitioning from Europe to Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and finally the U.S. I hope to shed light on the evolution of the art and meaning of dance as it has spread across the world over the past thousands of years. Despite this differentiation, dance has many universal interpretations and still retains its expressive characteristics no matter the culture or time.”

Su also informed us that her favorite dance is Terra’s “Colors of Spring” because of the time she has spent on it with her fellow dancers. The greatest challenge she endured was organizing all the dance groups and the logistics of the show; putting together the show and rehearsing all the dances were arduous to balance.

Su will be performing a few of her own pieces as well.

“The Evolution of Dance” will be held on Friday, April 15, 2016 at 7 p.m. at the Memorial Chapel. Tickets are $5 for Union students and $7 for non-Union students and can be purchased at the door. All proceeds will go towards Pathways Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

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