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The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Prepare to perform

Student dancers are rehearsing hard on a modern take on tango on May 2 at the gymnasium toward the opening night. (Mariana Ramos / The Inquirer)

As dancers scramble around making last-minute decisions on costumes, music and choreography, dance instructor Kimberly Valmore relentlessly screams, “Hurry, hurry. We’re already behind schedule.”

A typical day in the life a dancer, and the time crunch the Dance Production students face does not make their job any easier.

In the midst of producing this spring’s show, “Through the Door and to the Floor,” the dance department is working hard to finish before opening night on May 6th at 8:00 p.m.

The shows will also take place at 8 p.m. on May 7 and 2 p.m. on May 8 in the PAC.

Dance Production, a DVC spring course, consists of a compilation of dancers from many levels, who have taken prerequisite dance courses in the fall; however, if some students are able to prove their ability they are able to join the class also.

“We learned the basics, and now we are applying what we have learned,” student choreographer Charlie Bennett said.

Valmore acts as the classes’ adviser and, by no means, impedes on their creative vision.

“It is all theirs,” she said.

There is about ten student choreographers and many dancers who all contribute to the show in some way. From creating the title of the show, to designing the show’s poster, the students have full creative control.

When in the process of choosing the pieces for the final production, “It’s like this is my company, and they are my dancers. They have to showcase their knowledge in order to gain a spot in the final production,” Valmore said.  

The choreographers have to present their ideas to her with choreography, costumes, storyline, number of dancers, etc. From there, she provides the students with feedback on their proposed ideas.

After Valmore chooses the final pieces, the student choreographers conduct auditions for their dancers.

 “Looking back I wish I would have chosen dancers based on dedication,” student choreographer Ashley Cabrera said.

With this class only meeting twice a week and multiple rehearsals taking place at the same time in the one dance studio on campus, the limited time they have is very valuable.

“That’s the issue with it being a class. Many students see it as just a class they have to take like math,” said Christina Stevenson, student choreographer who is new to this whole process.

Another student choreographer, Alicia Andreatta-Jaques said, “Dancers will miss class, and they do not realize that they just wasted an hour or more of rehearsal time.”

“We do the best with what we have,” said Kimberly Valmore speaking on the subject of their limited funds. “The only money we have coming in comes from the show,” she said, and even with that the show produces expenses such as the production of programs.

Many of the students have to rifle through old costumes, because there is no money available to them.

Despite these obstacles, everyone seems to keeping a positive outlook while preparing for their performances.

“You’re getting a mix of everything,” Stevenson said.

They will exhibit styles such as hip-hop, contemporary ballet, theater, a capella tap, salsa, waltz, jazz, and Bollywood.

Also, teacher-choreographed pieces will accompany the student produced dances.

Valmore has choreographed a few solos and trios while dance instructors produce two other pieces.

One of which will be a waltz, choreographed by instructor Amy Farhood, and the other will be a Rueda, or a type of salsa dancing, choreographed by instructor Erika Angelakos.

Angelakos’ intermediate class will perform her salsa piece even though many of the students in her class have never performed.

“It is difficult for people who have never performed or danced before,” said Andreatta-Jaques.

One of Angelakos’ students, Maverick Mamaghani, said, “This class is my sanity.” He really enjoyed the beginning class he took in the fall, and he has improved immensely since then.

For many of the students, especially the least experienced ones, this is their opportunity to showcase what they have learned and the improvements they have made.

The strides many of them have made lead to the title of the show, “Through the Door and to the Floor.”

They have taken the skills they have learned through the door of the dance studio onto the floor of the stage.


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About the Contributor
Brittney Griffin, Staff member
Staff member, fall 2011.

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Prepare to perform