The Fairfield University Dance Ensemble started their annual showcase, Feel the Beat, with a bang. The bright crimson lighting cast a shadow on the dancers’ faces. The music was quiet until the stage came alive, and the performers started their show.
The show, which took place on Friday, April 12 at 6:30 p.m., consisted of 38 dances in eight different genres: tap, ballet, Broadway jazz, contemporary, Irish, hip hop, lyrical and jazz. Most of the dances were also student-choreographed. The 65 different students in the group worked together to make the dance cohesive, but each brought life to the dance in their own individual way.
The hosts of the night were seniors Gaetano Annunziata, Joe Digenaro, and Tom Nolan. They were enthusiastic and filled the time well while the audience waited between costume changes.
The first act had 18 dances, including four senior solos by Alicia Phaneuf, Alyson Derosa, Morgan Carrozzella and Tess Fox. The opening dance was to a song called “Reel Around the Sun” from a show called “Riverdance.” The dance itself was an Irish step dance with hard shoes, so it worked similarly to a tap dance. It was performed as a dance battle which made it intense and fun. It was a fantastic opening to the show that brought the energy of the room up.
After a 10 minute intermission, the second act had 21 dances, including three senior solos by Jill Stifano, Brittany Fasanelli and Nicole Porter. There was also a dance that all the seniors performed in. One of the last performances was to a medley of “High School Musical” songs. It was an entertaining Broadway jazz dance. Some performers dressed as the iconic main characters of the film. What made the performance great was that, although the dance was lively and exciting to watch, the performers were in hilarious costumes and they didn’t take themselves too seriously. Junior Olivia Baril played Troy Bolton, Fasanelli played Ryan Evans, and Julia Joshi ‘20 danced as Chad Danforth.
“When I reflect back in this year’s show, I couldn’t be more proud. To pull off an entire show with a cast of this many was so gratifying, I am so happy with how professional everyone was and how dedicated everyone is,” Baril said. “We are student run, there’s no one scaring anyone into caring about this club. Everyone is here because they love dance, no matter how much we complain about late practices. That’s what makes our club so special, it’s driven solely on passion.”
All in all, the Dance Ensemble put on an impressive show. The audience could tell the dancers put their all in each and every performance.
“When I look back on my experience with FUDE I will remember the people I met the most. The members of FUDE have truly shaped my college experience and I will miss them all so much!” said Porter, president of FUDE.