Jenna Spengler, a senior dance major, became interested in dancing after watching ballet for the first time when she was 4 years old. She turned to her mom and told her, â€œI am going to do that.â€
And she certainly did.
After 19 years of dancing, her college career is about to culminate in what fellow dance major Erin Harner described as â€œthe equivalent of a senior thesisâ€ â€“â€“ a Capstone Dance Concert titled â€œLeave Your Mark.â€
â€œWeâ€™ve been working on it and rehearsing the entire semester,â€ Spengler said. â€œBut Iâ€™ve been thinking about what I want to do for this for about a year now.â€
The dance concert will be at the University Center for the Arts today at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets cost $10 for CSU students and youth younger than 17 and $14 for the general public.
â€œOne of the hardest things is that no one knows we exist,â€ Spengler said. â€œWeâ€™d really love to have more of the student body come to performances.â€
The concert covers a wide range of dance types.
â€œSome are more modern, thereâ€™s some more contemporary, (and) one of Erinâ€™s is hip-hop,â€ Spengler said.
â€œThere is a theme and story for both my group piece and solo,â€ Harner said. â€œMy group piece is rather solemn. It delves into the lives of three individuals to explore the loss of love, confidence and life. To be quite candid, I found myself in a rather dark place emotionally at the beginning of the semester and chose to channel by negative energy into my piece â€” a dancer’s version of therapy.â€
â€œMy solo is about two individuals in particular who have given me the strength to persevere through the many challenging obstacles I have faced throughout my time here at CSU,â€ she added. â€œI begin the piece in a frustrated, exhausted state, but slowly gain strength, metaphorically, through the signer who is featured on stage with me.â€
The biggest challenge for Harner was getting an idea she was content with to label as her senior concert.
â€œFor the most part, I am very pleased with the concert,â€ she said. â€œI believe it is very diverse and well-constructed, and am anxious to see the audience’s reaction.â€
â€œI believe that there are many misconceptions and assumptions made about dance,â€ she added. â€œIn actuality, any movement is a valid form of expression. In part, that is what makes dance so wonderful, from the perspective of both the dancer and audience.â€
The main event is a dance concert the two orchestrated themselves, but they also wrote a 10-page paper and put together a portfolio.
â€œWe had to do everything,â€ Spengler said. â€œWe had to choreograph it, organize it, contact the crew; we had to do publicity and, of course, dance. Everything that goes into making a show, we had to do it.â€
â€œThe point of the show is to show our talents as a choreographer and as a dancer,â€ Harner said.
Spengler agreed, adding, â€œAlso, itâ€™s about finding our own voice. You have to find your own movement, and I think it takes the full four years to really do that.â€
Collegian writer Emily Kribs can be reached at email@example.com.
What: Dance Major Capstone Concert, â€œLeave Your Markâ€
Where: The University Center for the Arts
When: Saturday at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Cost: $14 for public, $10 for CSU students and youth under 17