As the lights fade for the last time and the audience roars with applause, the dancers on stage know that the months of preparation for this day have paid off.
Each year, the McDaniel Dance Company holds an annual recital to showcase their talent and dedication for their craft. Preparation begins months in advance, and the recital for this year is quickly approaching.
“Organizing choreographers, that starts over the summer,” said Connor Klotzbach, Dance Company vice president. “Also booking practice time in the dance studio so we have a place to meet…and then booking the stage not just for the show, but for the week before the show so we can practice dancing on the stage.”
The Dance Company also must ensure that a technical crew is in place for the performance. “Besides choreography, money goes into the show because we also have to pay for lights and sound,” said Lyndsay Batson, Dance Company president.
“First you have to pick a song, which is a lot harder than it seems,” said Anna Odell, a Dance Company
member. “Then, you kinda just have to get on your feet and see what feels good.”
Different choreographers will approach their dances differently, so the process is never the same. “For me, I don’t super plan out formations and I also don’t super plan out choreography for words,” Klotzbach said. “It’s really just what that person needs.”
Dances require more than just choreography and formations. “We have to decide on things like costumes and how we want their hair and makeup and if we have any specific props we need, or set pieces like chairs or benches,” Odell said.
Different dances include different elements that make each dance unique. “You have to make sure to…match the vision you’re trying to present, especially if it’s story based,” Batson said. “Sometimes it’s just ‘Hey, I heard this on the radio, I really like it, I see a dance with it,’ but sometimes it’s ‘This song means a lot to me, I have a story behind it, I want the dance to convey through that story.’”
Of course, there are struggles with organizing an event like a recital. “Sometimes you know what you want it to look like, and it’s really hard to get people to do what you want them to do,” Odell said. “That’s really hard sometimes, but you kinda just have to push through it.”
Logistical elements are also a struggle to organize as well. “Making sure we get the theater space…has proved to be a little bit difficult,” Batson said. “Also making sure that it works with people’s schedules, make sure that people can be there for rehearsals for the week so that we’re on the stage for dress rehearsals…because we need people to be there for that, and we need to spend our time wisely there as well.”
Regardless of the struggles, the Dance Company members love the work they put out each year. “It means so much to me, for my story as well.” Batson said. “I think it’s just a good way to get out of your room or the library for an hour and a half to just dance and keep your mind off all your work you have to do.”
Choreographers are full of pride once they see their creative vision come together. “Oh my gosh, I love it,” Odell said. “Personally, my dance, I’m so proud of everyone in it.”
Many dancers believe that the stress they face while they prepare for a recital is well worth it. “I love dancing, I love performing, I think we put on good shows,” Klotzbach said. “The point of it is that we all get to share our talent and our creative vision will the world. I think it’s definitely worth it.”
The date and time of the recital have not yet been confirmed.
Follow the McDaniel Dance Company’s Instagram account (@mcdanieldanceco) for information about the year end recital and any other performances they will be holding throughout the semester.