The Fairfield University Dance Ensemble hosted its annual dance recital in person for the first time in three years on Sunday, April 4 at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. The title of this year’s show was “Dance Again,” an homage to this being the first time these dancers have taken the stage since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it featured 40 different dances. The event was hosted by Peter Neumann ‘22 and Chris Adams ‘22. 

Even though they weren’t able to host an in-person recital last year, FUDE was able to successfully host a virtual show that was exciting to watch. This year though, the entertainment was brought to the next level since it was entirely in-person. 

Over 500 tickets were sold for this event, and, after attending, I see why. 

Hosts Neumann and Adams stated that FUDE is Fairfield University’s largest student-run organization, and the crowd was filled with friends and family of the 71 dancers in the show. The entire production is entirely student-run from the choreography, to the planning, to the costumes. For the entire duration of the show, you could see the dedication and energy that each dancer brought with them to the stage. 

Eight different genres were showcased at the recital including Tap, Ballet, Broadway Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Irish, Lyrical and Jazz. On top of this, Fairfield’s only student-run competition dance team, Fairfield Dance Fusion, also performed their competition routines.  

Some of my favorite performances included “Zulu Mix,” “Warriors” and “Like a River Runs,” but above all, I think the ladies performing “thank u, next” really stuck out to me. 

“Thank u, next” was choreographed by Hadley Waterbury ‘23 and Annie Bonnini ‘23, and was a ballet piece set to an instrumental version of the Ariana Grande song “thank u, next.” Ballet is so beautiful to watch and these girls really did a great job at conveying the song through dance. 

All of the dancers in every number were incredibly synchronous and very engaged with the audience with great facial expressions. It was so great to see so many of my peers show talents many people might not have known they had!

You could hear the excitement run rampant through the crowd during each performance when the dancers had a long run of turns, if the Hip Hop girls got really into their dance and when the Irish Step girls did their impressive jumps. The atmosphere in the Quick Center was contagious and would have you thinking you were at a Final Four basketball game and not a dance recital. It was honestly amazing to witness such support be shown for this club after the performers involved spent countless hours rehearsing and preparing for this one moment. 

For many of the seniors involved in FUDE, this was their last time performing in front of an audience and you could clearly see how much dance meant to each of them during their senior solos and their other numbers. 

Overall, the FUDE showcase was an incredible show and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for next year’s performance. Stay up to date on all things FUDE by following their Instagram page @fudanceensemble. 

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