A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

Dancers Practice To Perfect Spring Dance Show

Jessica Tullock gets ready to rehearse a shortened version of the classic “Cell Block Tango” from “Chicago,” choreographed by SRJC student Sierra Steele.

Dancers flood the halls of Tauzer Gym as they take every spare minute to practice the 18 dances that make up “Life As We Know It,” the Spring Dance show.

The show has been in the works since the beginning of the semester and the dancers have recently started intense practice for the May 17 opening.

Of the 18 dances, students choreographed 12, SRJC faculty choreographed five and SRJC alumni and guest choreographer Raquel Medina choreographed one.

Piling into the Tauzer dance studio whenever they can, students sweat through hot afternoons as they strive to perfect their dances.

Student choreographer Katy Lohse said it is, “very difficult. Lots of big personalities, lots of people who are best friends. You really have to rein those kiddies in.”

All of the students are very excited and dedicated to what they do. Many of the choreographers worked on several previous dance shows at SRJC.

At the beginning of the semester the students auditioned to be choreographers and then auditioned for parts. The choreographers taught a few minutes of their dances to their recruits and auditioned it for the teachers. This begins a long process of revisions and practice.

“Life As We Know It” is about all the facets of life, dark and light, and each dance brings the choreographers’ unique perspective to bear on the subject. Varying from darker topics like addiction, loss and being outcast, to lighter ones like tomfoolery, the different dances convey huge ranges of emotion through the movements of the dancers, the lighting and the costumes.

Shelby Hamlin choreographed the dance “Society’s Clowns,” a crazy medley of 17 unique characters, themed around outcasts.

“It’s basically a circus crossed with a rave I guess,” Hamlin said.

Across the range is “Los Americanos Comedias,” co-choreographed by Krystina Cronin, Jessica Tullock and Colleen Hendricks. “Los Americanos Comedias” is a Three Stooges-based tap trio the three worked on outside of the allotted practice times, as the larger pieces needed more in-class practice.

“We realized there were a lot of darker pieces and we wanted to lighten it up,” Tullock said.

Directors Lara Brannan and Susan Matthies are co-choreographing “La Vie est Belle,” set in a 1930s Parisian Café and inspired in part by the film “Midnight in Paris.”

“Both Susan and I feel an affiinity for that time period and for Paris as a city that nurtured artists,” Brannan said.

The dedication and work that all the dancers put in will make “Life As We Know It” a show to see. It shows in Burbank Auditorium May 17-19, tickets are $10-18.

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Nadav Soroker, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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