A year of anniversaries, the Raw Edges dance performance is a celebration. It is the 40th anniversary of the Mercyhurst Dance Department and the 20th anniversary of Artistic Director Tauna Hunter and Production Manager/Resident Designer Michael Gleason.
For Hunter, there is an additional, personal anniversary being celebrated. “I am celebrating five years of being cancer free,” she says with a smile. This showcase was emotional and will be remembered for years to come for there is a lot to remember and celebrate.
In honor of the anniversaries, the dancers have partnered with the Regional Cancer Center.
“We were interested in getting involved in the community,” Hunter said. A small raffle of tickets for additional performances as well as a student made basket was raffled off at the Sunday showing. The money raised will all benefit Regional Cancer Center and local cancer patients.
Information on cancer prevention measures and early warning signs was available to audience members to help spread awareness for the cause. “We really want to honor the survivors that may be in the audience,” Hunter explains. This is the first year the dance department has connected with the Regional Cancer Center and they could not think of a better way to celebrate such anniversaries.
“I am grateful every day for one more day on the planet,” Hunter said.
“As much as we would like to think that tomorrow we are guaranteed to see the sun come up, there is always a chance that we will not. We are finite beings and must live each day so that we do not have regrets.
Regarding the song by Lee Ann Womack, Hunter said, “When you get the chance to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.”