On March 23, the Fairfield University Dance Ensemble returned to the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts stage for yet another unreal performance, this year known as “Can’t Stop Dancin.” After several months of practice and unwavering devotion, FUDE truly poured their hearts into this show and impressed everyone in the audience. In addition to the insane amount of talent displayed through dancing, the Ensemble is also credited with choreographing and organizing this entire function.
The first dance of Act One was a jazz piece choreographed by Elise Easton ‘18. Following this was the Irish Step group, followed by an amazing performance by FUDE to “Wrecking Ball,” which was choreographed by Morgan Carrozzella ’19. Carrozzella dedicated this dance to her parents and brother for all of their support. There were also several solo performances by seniors including Sadie Tovey, Erica Jowdy, Jessica Suarez and Elise Easton. While these solo performances are extremely bittersweet and sentimental, they were also a great opportunity for each senior to have the stage to themselves for one full dance in honor of their dedication to the Ensemble. A brief intermission broke up the show where friends and families socialized and raffles were distributed.
Act Two began with several upbeat songs, followed by a slower song and ballet dance choreographed by Shannon Christ ‘20. Then Jill Stifano ‘19, Caroline Goulding ‘20 and Nicole Greco ‘20 choreographed and performed Irish step acapella, which only emphasized their impressive in-sync movements as audience members could hear their feet moving in unison on stage. Soon after, FUDE stunned the crowd with their upbeat performance to “London” by Maty Noyes, choreographed by Heather DiLorenzo ‘18. This dance was extremely energetic and fast-paced; my eye was constantly drawn to Brianna Napoli ’19 who absolutely crushed the dance floor during this piece.
Taylor Mele, Heather DiLorenzo, Kristie L’Ecuyer and Vice President of F.U.D.E. Julia Parsloe all had senior solo performances in Act Two. A very inspiring performance was given called “Dancing to Educate.” This dance aimed to bring attention to public schools that are underfunded in the United States. It was inspired by a research paper written by one of the dancers, Abigail Sakati ‘20 who was prompted to write about issues within America’s education system. It included beautiful dancing from The Mirror’s very own Editor-in-Chief Alicia Phaneuf ‘19 and choreography by Sakati. Nora Holland ‘19 was especially moved by this piece and stated, “This dance really told a story. It’s depicting stress that circulates around education.”
Next, tap dancers dressed in a variety of sports jerseys came onstage to perform to the song “Swing” by Savage and Soulja Boy. A remix of the original song “New York, New York” by Ray Quinn and Ultra Love was next and was very entertaining. Not only did it include a circle of Rockette-like kicking, but all of the girls were dressed as tourists or wearing “I heart New York” shirts, making it a great tribute to the city that never sleeps. Mele and Caitlin TeeKing ‘20 shared a “Best Friends” dance, wearing light-up shoes while dancing on elevated surfaces of about 1-2 feet. After this, Phaneuf choreographed a HipHop mashup dance titled “Outta Our Minds.”
As a continuing tribute to Ensemble seniors, an adorable video of them throughout their dance careers was presented before the final dance – the Senior Dance, which is choreographed and performed by all of the FUDE seniors. The songs they used were “Lip Gloss” by Lil Mama, “1, 2 Step” by Ciara and Missy Elliot, “Low” by Flo Rida and T-Pain and “Bye Bye Bye” by *NSYNC. The captivated audience danced and sang along to these songs as they were being performed. The “Can’t Stop Dancin’” finale included a distribution of flowers to all of the seniors and it was easy to see the friendships that have formed amongst all of the dancers during these past few years.
In addition to the dancers, MC’s Matthew Ragone ’18 and Tim Johnston ’18 were extremely entertaining, as well as witty and comfortable on stage. They had a few outfit changes throughout the night, at one point walking out in vibrant tutus and charmed parents with jokes about getting the most out of Fairfield tuition. When presenting dances, the duo spoke loud and clearly. Ragone gave a shout out to his roommates for attending the show and one of them screamed in reply for the whole audience to hear, “I love you.” They did an outstanding job and definitely contributed to the smooth running of the show.
Overall, “Can’t Stop Dancin’” was a complete success and revealed so much talent from everyone involved. Congratulations to the class of 2018 on their final performance, and juniors: you’re next!