Spring concert showcases original choreography


The University of Kentucky recently got rid of the dance major. Students tell why they think this was a bad decision. Photo by Brandon Goodwin

By Kellie Oates

The UK Dance Ensemble dances to the beat of its own drum — in an almost literal sense, considering the members choreograph the majority of their routines. This weekend students will have a chance to witness these routines at the UKDE Spring Concert.

The Dance Ensemble is a student organization designed to give students the opportunity to explore different dance styles, improve technique, present choreography and perform. UK and BCTC students are eligible to join, and members are from all majors and years in school are accepted, according to the Dance Ensemble website.

The Dance Ensemble had its first concert in the spring of 1986, and has been performing ever since. Although the dance minor at UK has been suspended, UKDE adviser Rayma Beal hopes the members continue to dance through the student organization and showcase their talent to the university.

“If (Dance Ensemble) members continue to show ability in all styles of dance, then they shouldn’t be affected by the cut,” Beal said.

Beal said if the dancers are multifaceted enough to show they are capable of being trained in a variety of dance forms, then they shouldn’t have anything to worry about in regards to pursuing dance after college, something UKDE encourages.

The organization requires auditions for members to prove a strong ability in dance and a desire to be a part of it. The Dance Ensemble uses many styles, and the dancers come from different dance backgrounds including modern, ballet, jazz, tap or a variety of other styles.

One routine that will be featured at the concert symbolizes life’s burdens and being dragged down by life’s obstacles. Every dance focuses on a specific idea and has a meaning behind it.

UKDE publicist Audra Flanagan said being a member of Dance Ensemble was a life-changing experience.

“Getting to be apart of Dance Ensemble, and getting to choreograph my own dances, has changed my direction in life,” Flanagan said. “I plan on owning my own studio or doing something with choreography after college.”

Because the option to declare a dance minor is no longer available, management freshman Katelyn Banks said Dance Ensemble is an important outlet on campus for dancers to express their talents and do what they love to do.

“Since the dance minor is being cut, it is especially important to show what dance can offer to students as well as the entire community,” Banks said. “It has an impact on all of those who experience it.”

The UK Dance Ensemble Spring Concert will be held Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Singletary Center. Admission is  $10 for students, seniors and UK faculty and staff, $12 for adults and $3 for children