On the evening of March 23, the lobby of the Quick Center was filled to capacity with excited families and friends waiting to support the Fairfield University Dance Ensemble.
An annual show “Spotlight” was a way for the gifted dancers of Fairfield to share their talents.
Over the course of three hours, “Spotlight” showcased a variety of dances that ranged all styles, from hip-hop to ballet to Irish dance.
The evening opened with an energetic routine choreographed by Breena Goldberg ’13 to Christina Aguilera’s song “Show Me How You Burlesque.”
As the fitting lyrics “Here come the ladies ‘bout to give a little show” rang through the auditorium, the women of the Dance Ensemble wowed the audience with high-energy spins and jumps as the bright lights reflected off their shimmering black and red costumes.
This number truly set the tone for the rest of the evening. All of the performances were engaging and enthralling, captivating the audience from routine to routine.
Tap dancers beat out mind-bogglingly fast rhythms, Irish step dancers flitted across the stage in precisely synchronized movements, ballet dancers fluidly twirled and jumped and hip-hop dancers moved to the beats of heavy bass.
In addition to encompassing a variety of styles, “Spotlight” had routines performed by soloists, pairs or even groups of ten or more dancers at a time.
While the Dance Ensemble made sure to display the talents of all members of the group, “Spotlight” took special care to focus on the talents of the graduating seniors.
“This was our last big performance this year and my last at Fairfield,” said Andrea DelGaudio ‘12, the president of Dance Ensemble who has been dancing since the age of two.
“It was a whirlwind putting the show together over the past year, [and] I’m happy that the craziness is over, but after the show ended, it hit me that it was my last time dancing at Fairfield,” said DelGaudio. “Being on the dance ensemble was such an amazing experience … I met great people that love dance as much as me.”
Senior Amanda Blaney, who has been dancing since the age of three, was one senior who performed her own solo number: “Stand By Me.”
The song choice for this performance was not accidental. Blaney said, “I wanted to let my friends know that even though I will not be around campus next year, I will always be there for them if they need me.”
One of the most touching senior performances, however, was the number “I Can’t Do It Alone,” performed by the sister act of Kayla Kaspar ’13 and Krista Kaspar ‘14. The fun and upbeat performance had the sisters playing off of each other’s moves, but in spite of the energy, Kayla characterized the performance as being “bittersweet.”
“I loved every second of being on stage with [Krista] and dedicated even more of my heart and soul into the performance knowing it was my last time dancing with her,” said Kayla. “But at the same time, I balled my eyes out after the show.”
Kayla continued, “Dancing on stage is an indescribable feeling, and when you add your sister into the mix, it makes it even more momentous.”
Krista agreed with Kayla, calling the performance “a very emotional experience.”
“It was the end to a lot of things for Kayla and I,” said Krista. “As members of both Dance Ensemble and Dance Team, our season has come to an end, and we are officially done dancing with each other… I am extremely close with her and will have a hard time adjusting to life at Fairfield without her.”
All of the seniors will clearly be missed by the Dance Ensemble team. During the finale of “Spotlight,” the seniors’ names were called one by one, and other members of the group handed them a bouquet of flowers as the audience cheered them on.
Overall, the Dance Ensemble performance this past weekend was a highly energized and emotionally charged event that highlighted the talents of all members of the group. It is clear that each of these girls are driven by their passion and love for dance, a passion which senior Brittany Barbaro hopes will never fade, even after graduation.
Barbaro’s message is simple: “Never stop dancing!”