Share your ‘secrets’ at the SRJC dance production this weekend

Jocelyn Mobley, Staff Writer

“Secrets,” the upcoming dance production at Santa Rosa Junior College, takes the pressures of society and morphs them into something beautiful.

Everyone has something hard in his or her life, and the choreographers decided to express their struggles in this production. The dancers will perform a wide variety of styles from light-hearted to desperate, from hip-hop to ballet.

Joanna Pablo, one of the student choreographers, said her secret is depression. Many people go through it and feel alone because it’s a taboo topic. “This piece is to talk about it and show that it’s more [of] a relatable thing than [people think] it really is,” Pablo said.

We are not abandoned. There are friends and family who surround us, and Pablo reminds the audience of that through her piece.

“Mine is about the struggles of coming out,” said choreographer Megan Holland. Her piece, titled “Acceptance,” tells the story of the fragility of revealing one’s sexual identity. “I want to show the internal struggle and then also the external struggle of coping with people’s reactions,” Holland said.  She said she wants people to feel accepted.

As we grow older, some people believe society constricts our natural imagination. “Finding a part of you that is lost and bringing it back,” said Lanea Florence about her piece, “Let Them Be Little.”  She said we have worlds we create with our imaginations as children, but when we grow up we lose some of the hope they bring. “It’s very light hearted and fun,” she said.

Ten months ago, Brandon Lombardo decided to become sober. His piece, “Struggle to Change,” is about his sobriety.

“I woke up one day and realized I didn’t like the person I was becoming,” Lombardo said. He knows the road to sobriety is hard, and he wants his piece to bring hope and inspiration to people who have the same struggles. “I am dedicating it to the people who have gone through an addiction.”

There is also something strange about dance that holds you from your first impression. Lanea Florence explains, “It just hooks you for life. There is something about dance that is unlike anything else. It just fills part of my being that I can’t find anywhere else. When you stop it’s like a part of you is missing.”

For these people it’s not a hobby, but a lifestyle. The choreographers laughed as they told stories of how they stand in ballet’s first position without knowing or how they dance through daily chores unintentionally.

Not only is it a lifestyle but also a community. “You literally become family with these people,” Florence said. The other choreographers agreed, saying it changes who you are. It’s a coping mechanism, teaches you discipline and focus, it inspires you and gives you purpose.

“Secrets” shows 8 p.m. May 14, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. May 14 and 2 p.m. May 15 in the Burbank Auditorium on the Santa Rosa campus. Tickets are $10 for students and $17 for general admission.