Dance students prepare for (in)Fusion

Case Griffiths

Students try out for Mesa dance production (in)Fusion.

Gisela Lagos

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San Diego Mesa College students gathered in front of room L116 on the morning of Aug 28 for their chance to earn a spot in the school dance concert, “(in)Fusion”.

Every semester the dance department at San Diego Mesa College puts together a multicultural showcase where students can exhibit what they’ve learned while broadening their abilities with the new challenge.

Professor Jan Ellis, Department Chair for the physical education, health, dance and athletic programs, will be working with several dance professor as well as Mesa College alumni to create the choreography of performances from various genres. The performances will range from Bollywood, Tahitian, Belly Dance, Tango, African inspired, and a Ballet with Middle Eastern flavor.

The dance auditions were scheduled for noon, but students began to gather as early as 11:00 a.m. Abby Whynot was among the early arrivals – a 30-year-old graduate who has danced on and off at San Diego Mesa College for the last 13 years. This was Whynot’s second dance concert audition at Mesa.

“It was really nerve racking. once you’re in the moment it’s actually really fun, but leading up to it, you want to throw up,” said Whynot.

Some students enroll because their ultimate dream is to be a dancer. Others go on to various careers outside dancing, yet use Mesa’s program as a way of keeping a little grace in their lives. This concert gives students, regardless of their abilities, the opportunity to experience a dynamic atmosphere in a group setting.

“We love the students, we love working on the show with them,” said Ellis. “We are a most positive demonstration of the beautiful diversity we have on this campus and that is very, very much celebrated in what we do and who we are.”

Ellis described the performance as a non-competitive environment that allows for a wide range of diversity and personal growth. Students not only face challenges in choreography and coordination, but the performance will also challenge their critical thinking skills and their ability to adapt their training to a stage setting.

“[Students get] a place where they feel they belong. [with] lifelong friends, collaborative learning, goal setting, and accomplishment – all of those hard to evaluate components of education that are the most valuable,” said Ellis.

“(in)Fusion” will be held at the Joan B. Kroc Theatre on Nov 4, 5, and 6 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for the presale price of $12 on campus from room L101 or by contacting Ellis at (619) 388-2428.

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