The Dance Ensemble is making the last few preperations for their annual “Groove is in the Heart” recital being held this week, a culmination of hundreds of hours of work by the completely student-driven organization.

The show promises to be a night full of entertainment, personality, and energy. There will be a vast spectrum of dances ranging from large production numbers to solos. Classical ballet numbers will be mixed with unconventional modern dances, a cappella taping, funky hip-hop, and of course, old school favorites.

The dance ensemble recital has gained tremendous popularity in recent years, and last year’s show was sold out. Ed Williams, ’03, explains the experience as a “really enjoyable performance,” and Amy Rossi, who also attended last year’s performance adds, “If I could describe the recital in one word, it would be fun. There was never a dull moment. Dance ensemble has found a way to incorporate technique, humor, and entertainment into a package that would please anyone – it’s definitely not like anything you’d see at your little sister’s recital.”

Dance Ensemble is an entirely student run organization that offers various classes, including hip-hop, jazz, tap, ballet, and modern. All interested students are invited during the first month of each year to try out for the classes. Each class meets once a week for two hours – that is, at least, until the final week before the recital, when rehersals go into over drive.

“Dance ensemble has been an amazing experience. I’ve been able to continue dancing, which I thought I’d never be able to do once I got to college ” says Colleen Grady, ’03, hip hop choreographer and Dance Ensemble President.

Choreographer Christina Clark, ’03, adds, “in the past four years I’ve spent at Fairfield, I’ve seen dance ensemble grow tremendously and it is all accredited to the hard work and dedication of the students involved.”

“What makes the dance ensemble unique is that it gives students the opportunity to take the creative aspect of choreography into their own hands,” said choreographer Allie Lombardo, ’03. “The members are able to deliver provocative, distinctive dances because they are able to freely express themselves and are not afraid to experiment with new styles.”

Members find that Dance Ensemble provides them with many benefits including: an outlet to collectively pursue an activity they are passionate about, a consistent form of exercise, the opportunity to meet new people and form new friendships, and it also allows them to develop their creativity, confidence, and time management.

“This is a very friendly organization. Not only do we have the opportunity to participate in an activity we love, but we are also all friends. There is no age discrimination and we are able to establish friendships with people in other classes that we may never have met unless though dance ensemble. We often see each other out at parties and dance up a storm – and if one of our songs come on, people may even get a little preview of what’s to come in our recital,” explains Lombardo, ’03.

Grady ’03, says, “Our show this year will be the best one yet. We have an incredibly talented group this year and we play to our college audience. This show is entertaining to more people than just parents; anyone who comes will have a great time.”

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