Dancing the night away with Mesa’s ‘Celebrating Women’s Stories through Dance’


Andres Armenta

Women’s History month 2023 at Mesa College.

Nahomy Guerrero, Opinions Editor

In collaboration with the Mesa Fashion Club and Cross Campus Arts Organization, the event “Celebrating Women’s Stories through Dance” served as the grand finale of Mesa’s programming to celebrate Women’s History Month.

Due to the pandemic a lot of on campus activities were abruptly canceled. While some events were able to continue online, for a while it was impossible for clubs such as those of sports or dance to meet in person. The first time this event took place at Mesa was just last year with only 12 dancers.

This year, however, the event organized by professors Blythe Barton and Donna Flournoy

featured over 50 performers and various types of dances; amongst those were: hip-hop, tap, contemporary, ballet, tap and swing. The event consisted of 10 different numbers, featuring music from classical to modern like Taylor Swift, with the live piano prelude by musician Gloria Park from the music department.

The candlelight-like illumination of dance studio L116 made the opening number, “Sculptures in Motion” engaging. The elaborate choreography engaged guests with the powerful silhouette and shadows of the performer’s mimicking their moves. This number also served as a tribute to artists such as American dancer and choreographer Anna Halprin, who redefined dance in a postwar America. Celeste Dandeker-Arnold OBE, British artist and dancer who co-founded the Candoco Dance Company for all types of dancers, and award-winning choreographer Adam Benjamin. Each number was unique; there were no intermissions as the event lasted for 45 minutes. The interpretation of “Lettin’ Loose” in partnership with dance professor Nancy Boskin-Mullen and the ballroom dance class crew delivered a background in swing dancing. It depicted how it helped women express themselves freely at a time where they began to cut loose of oppressing social conventions. Originating in Harlem, the swing style became popular in the 1920s. It is a type of ballroom dance that features jazz music.

The event also served as an inside view to the dance program at Mesa College and its collaborating departments. The 10 colorful numbers went by fast as the whole event was very entertaining; the dancers and choreographers all worked together to deliver what was an excellent finale to the Celebration of Women’s History month at Mesa.