Dance Ensemble performs Spring Concert pieces

By Lindsey Austin

UK students express their inner creativity through dance. The UK Dance Ensemble will host its Spring Concert this weekend at the Singletary Center.

According to the UKDE Facebook page, performances will be held Saturday, April 16 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 17 at 2 p.m. This season’s performance includes a number of pieces that will satisfy and entertain audiences of all tastes.

“Our concert offers something for everyone because there are numerous styles of dance this semester: tap, jazz, modern, step, ballet and hip-hop,” Gretchen Wagner, UKDE director, instructor and choreographer.

Members of UKDE are also excited about the musical theater pieces added to the repertoire this semester. Audiences will enjoy the familiar music of “A Chorus Line” and “Chicago.”

“I was happy to be cast in a few of the musical theater pieces this semester because they are always light and fun to perform,” Tara Gardner, mathematical economics sophomore, said.

For the show, the UKDE hosted professional choreographers Theresa Bautista and Meredith Sims. Bautista is a UK dance artist for the year and choreographed a modern piece titled “Innocence” about the loss of innocence throughout childhood.

Sims is the UKDE assistant director and she choreographed a number called “Is it? It Is.” about perception versus reality. Sims also choreographed one of the musical theater pieces titled “X-Cite-Nite.” Student members choreographed additional pieces.

As if a grueling schedule of dress rehearsals wasn’t enough, UKDE members are required to take three hours of dance technique class weekly along with additional choreography rehearsals weekly. Throughout the year, UKDE also does performances in the community and offers workshops.

“This semester we performed at Women’s gymnastics “Excite Night” as well as the Beaux Arts Ball, with workshops at Lexington Catholic High School and Lansdowne Elementary,” Wagner said.

UKDE includes more than thirty dancers. Most of them have had prior dance training, although there are many members who discovered a passion for dance after entering college. Students enjoy their time with UKDE because it allows them the opportunity to creatively express themselves in a unique, unspoken way.

“UKDE also fosters leadership through elected student officers that help run the organization with guidance of UK faculty,” Gardner said.

“We are truly one of the most unique organizations on campus. Our members are innovative and intelligent, with the bodies of athletes and the mind of artists,” Wagner said.

Tickets range between $10 and $15 and can be purchased at the Singletary Box Office by calling (859) 257-4929, online at or at the door.