Dec 042007
Authors: Valerie Hisam

For many seniors, it is all about one last semester, one last class, one last day as a student. But for three of them, it all comes down to one last dance.

Senior dance majors Andrea Palesh, Rhonda Padilla and Jennifer Girtell will dance their last dance as students for their Senior Dance Showcase titled “Liquid Poetry” on Thursday and Friday in the Lory Student Center Theatre at 8 p.m.

As a requirement for their final capstone dance class, all three seniors had to choreograph and perform in an hour-long performance.

“The showcase is intended to feature our work and progress as a dance major for the past four years,” Palesh said. “It is for us to experience how to put an actual dance production together from the choreography, performance, technical theater aspect, budgeting for a show and marketing.”

“Not only is it entertaining, but it also intellectual and abstract. It’s live art that is different every time it is viewed.”

Palesh’s pieces focus on life, with her long group piece about addiction and the many forms that it can take. Whereas both Padilla’s and Girtell’s dances they choreographed are about life and finding oneself.

Even though there are hundreds of other seniors gearing up for the same type of trials and tribulations to end their college life, for these three dancers, dance is what they have had to eat, sleep and breathe for the last four and a half years.

“Pretty much my entire day is filled with dance,” said Palesh, who goes to school during the day, but could be at rehearsals until well past 10 p.m. “It’s busy but I love it. I love that dance incorporates your mind, body and soul. It is challenging not only on my body, but I am constantly thinking about dance and how amazing it is.”

Along with Palesh, Padilla shares the same passion and fire to dance and continue performing, and for all of these seniors, there have been injuries and pain, but they have kept going.

“I am motivated and driven when I am passionate about something,” Padilla said. “If something is really important to me, I will put all of my efforts and heart into it.”

And with their final curtain call coming to a close, these three seniors have poured their hearts into their senior showcase as creators, dancers and people with lives, emotions and stories.

“We are creators and athletes,” Palesh said. “We are entertainers as well as artists. We integrate the mind, body and soul in addition to movement, music and visual art all together.”

Verve reporter Valerie Hisam can be reached at

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