By Ella Onuoha, Staff Writer
September 14, 2023
Ouachita’s student-led dance company announced their Choreography Showcase’s partnership with the well-known Festival of Christmas production annually presented by the School of Performing Arts. This major announcement brought a unique artistic program to the attention of dancers across campus.
The student-led dance company has been active since the spring semester of 2022, providing students with the opportunity to hone the craft of dance. Ouachita takes heart in producing esteemed student leaders, and the Choreography Showcase serves as an example of that reached goal. Junior Amaya Hardin, junior Mac Ricks and senior Noah Warford, all musical theater majors, are directing the company with enthusiasm for the projects ahead, and staff member Adam Wheat is overseeing the company with high hopes for their performances.
“We needed more opportunities for dance,” Hardin said. “So, [students] created the showcase for student choreographers and dancers from a variety of backgrounds and skill levels to explore the art together.”
The showcase is open to everyone on campus with an interest in it, and each semesters’ theme is different from the previous theme. The Choreography Showcase is especially different this semester because this is the first time that the company is partnering with the beloved Christmas show. Every year, students wait with excitement for the Festival of Christmas to reach Jones Performing Arts Center at the end of the semester, and students should have even more excitement when the Christmas season rolls around this year.
Because of the expansion of the program, Hardin, Ricks and Warford have huge roles ahead of them.“Student directors oversee auditions, castings and make sure everyone knows their role,” Hardin said. “[We are] peace makers to prevent drama on set, hold production meetings with each other about lighting and costumes and make sure dances are appropriate for Ouachita’s audience.”
With the tasks at hand and the busyness of the role, Hardin jokes that she just wants “to survive.”
Senior Maddy Moore has taken away a valuable artistic perspective from her participation in the Showcase, and a few years of participation have brought her cherished memories. “I’ve been involved with the choreography showcase for the past few years…I’ve had so much fun working with so many incredible artists.”
Being a liberal arts institute, music, theater and dance reside at the core of Ouachita’s education, and opportunities like the Choreograph Showcase bring a creative touch to the education while still being a source of enjoyment.