Dancers’ bright smiles illuminated the stage as cheers and applause rang throughout the Boston University Dance Theater this weekend. As the dancers of BU’s Dance Theatre Group bowed to the audience, whispers of amazement could be heard throughout the room.
DTG’s spring showcase “Visions 2022” featured 16 dances in total, including both student and faculty-choreographed works. The show featured different styles of dance including tap, hip-hop, jazz and contemporary dance.
Avery Pelosi, the concert coordinator for the DTG and a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, also choreographed the dance “FUNKYTOWN.”
“During our show, something that I think is unique is that you’ll have a piece that’s like really uplifting and it’s tap and it’s super exciting, and then the next piece might be something that’s more explorative and contemporary and slower,” Pelosi said. “So our concert, although it’s cohesive, in one sense, there’s also this contrast that comes from all of these different styles and all of these different ideas that each choreographer had.”
Pelosi said DTG’s dancers come from a variety of backgrounds, with some signing up for the showcase at the beginning of the semester.
“Some people are beginners at dance, and some people have studied dance their entire lives,” Pelosi said.
Keeley Bombard, a member of the DTG and a senior in CAS, was in three dance pieces and practiced six hours per week.
“It’s really so so fun,” Bombard said, “and it’s such a fun group of people. So it really makes it worth it because you just laugh all the time and everyone is just having a great time.”
As a senior who just had her last showcase, Bombard said she will always remember the joyful and friendly environment the group creates.
“We’re all from different backgrounds, but when we show up to rehearsal, a lot of that fades away and you can really just let loose together and that makes it a really, really fun environment,” Bombard said.
Jenna Hansen, a junior in CAS, was part of the piece “Alone With My Thoughts,” which was a faculty-choreographed piece by Jossie Coleman. After taking Coleman’s non-credit Contemporary/Jazz class, Hansen auditioned to perform for “Visions 2022.”
“I think I’ve gotten more comfortable with physically feeling my feelings,” Hansen said.
For Hansen, dancing is a “grounding” experience because dancers can enjoy their movement without being judged as well as express emotions in a non-verbal way.
“I think seeing a lot of different people have different, you know, body types and heights and ethnicities, and all that kind of stuff, is really valuable because the dance world is something that’s so often not very inclusive,” Hansen said. “Anyone can dance.”
Echoing Hansen, Bombard encouraged students to participate in different dance programs on campus, especially the PDP courses — one credit physical education courses.
“There is no wrong way to dance. I would say just put yourself out there,” Bombard said.