Mercyhurst North East after-school program presents dance performance

The Mercyhurst North East Dance Intensive is an after-school dance training for dance majors, non-majors, and dancers of all ages. The current program features The Mercyhurst North East 2013 Cultural Series, which will conclude on Sunday, April 28, with their production of “Dance! Dance! Dance!”

Dance! Dance! Dance! is the program’s interpretation of a “triple threat” dance. It features a mixed program of ballet, tap, and jazz methods. The students in the program range from 7 and 8-year-old pre-ballet dancers to college students at Mercyhurst who attend open ballet classes on Sunday.

The production features choreography by director Gina Illingworth, along with student choreography and other works in progress.

“The performance is a final culmination of what the students have been working on,” Ms. Illingworth says. “There are two performers ages 7 and 8, and four college students (non-dance majors) that have been attending our weekend open classes. Also included in the program are three students taking all of the classes being offered; Grace Dill (Erie) 13, Mackenzie Leonard (Erie) 11, and Francesca Carlo-Daubert (North East) 13, daughter of Mercyhurst North East alum Ann-Marie Daubert (nursing).”

“This is my sixth year directing/producing a performance for the cultural series, and each year it has been different. Some years we’ve included guest performers from out of state, and other years have included dance majors from the Erie campus. We’ve had music majors compose music for the event, and have had live musicians from the Erie campus accompany the dancers. …It is a short informal gathering hoping to introduce more of the arts to our campus and the North East community.”

Dance! Dance! Dance! will also feature senior Mercyhurst student Kaleigh Hubert. She will be performing a lyrical number titled The Call by Regina Spektor in commemoration of her upcoming graduation.

“The lyrics say that even though everything is changing,” she says, discussing the nature of the upcoming graduation, “there’s no need to say goodbye, and it’s important to never forget the wonderful memories we have made.”

“I am really excited about the show on Sunday! … I love taking classes as well as performing in the show with Gina, especially now that I get to share that experience with my sister. I’ve been dancing since I was 4 years old and even though I am not pursuing dance as my career, I am blessed to have been able to pursue this passion college.”

Dance! Dance! Dance! will be performed on Sunday, May 28, at 2 p.m. in the Alex Theatre. Admission to the event is free and open to the public. A reception to celebrate the year’s accomplishments of the program will take place after the performance.