With an entertaining range of themes, choreography, and dance styles, fused with tradition and innovation, Cardinal Gibbons Dance Program recently presented its annual Spring Dance Concert.
The nearly two-hour performance drew crowds each night that comprised new faces as well as familiar ones. In what has become a concert tradition, alumni of the school and of the dance program consistently attend the performance, watching their legacy continue to grow. This year’s concert took place April 18 – 21.
“The Gibbons Dance Program shaped me into who I am today… I bring my class every year because this exposes them to a well-built program,” said Christine Prosser '11. “The program is and will always be an inspiration…”
The dance program, and by extension its annual concerts, has expanded over the years, with nearly 250 students taking dance classes and performing on stage in the fall and spring. In that time, the dance program staff has grown to three educators. More remarkable, that growth has taken place at a time when cuts in arts programs nationwide is the norm rather than the exception.
Christine Prosser ’11 attended one of the recent dance performances, a ritual she has done every year since she graduated. Now a dance director at a public high school in Wake County, she came this time, as she has in the past, with her entire dance class.
“The Gibbons Dance Program shaped me into who I am today… I bring my class every year because this exposes them to a well-built program,” she said. “The program is and will always be an inspiration…”
Seeing familiar faces along with new ones at the concerts pleases Dance Program Director Brooks Owens, who has led the program for the last 12 years. Joining her are Alina Vance and Erica Seninsky.
“It is great to reminisce with graduates and hear how the program has helped them in college and beyond,” said Owens. “I am also interested in their feedback about the program and concerts and ways they have changed.”
A change evident in the latest concert was the addition of live music. In an innovative, collaborative step the Mixed Choral Ensemble provided the musical accompaniment to one of the dance numbers. Both Owens and Choral Director Martha Zaldivar described the collaboration as the start of a new tradition.