Back to Bates was filled with joy, pride, and love; joy at seeing parents, pride at being a Bobcat, and love for the passions that make each student unique. The Back to Bates Dance Concert was a venue where some of our fellow classmates got to show their joy, pride, and love for performing for their friends and family.

“This show is about the students and their families. We have a combination of independent student pieces, faculty work, guest artist work, and thesis research in the concert,” said Carol Dilley, Associate Professor in the Dance department and acting chair of the Dance and Theater departments.

With all that Dilley wants to accomplish, she only has four weeks of intense rehearsals to create a grand production. It takes a great cast of dedicated dancers to make it all possible.

“It is a pressured turn around to get everyone to commit to doing their pieces and to get their information in soon enough for us to print programs,” Dilley said.

Sofia Elbadawi ’18 comments, “Preparing for the show was a very fast process. I am in the Dance Repertory and Performance class and the first guest artist, Cathy Young, came to set a piece on the class.”

Through all of this hard work and time commitment there is definitely a sense of pride. “Everyone works hard and we get better and better,” Dilley said. “Each individual student is growing in a process like this and I celebrate every bit of that development.”

All of the hard work and preparation definitely paid off in the end. Sitting with the audience, there was a sense of major enthusiasm and excitement to see the dancers perform.

The dancers were well rehearsed, artistically provocative and diverse. “Like writing, making dances is all about good editing and rigorously defining your ideas and how they are conveyed,” Dilley said. “It is a real treat to be able to see works with an audience in October and to continue working on them for the fall show using the feedback we get from performing for an audience.”

Sometimes not everything goes as planned and surprises can happen. “Unfortunately, one of the dancers sprained her ankle mid-jazz dance performance,” Elbadawi said. “Despite this mishap, we made up the rest of the dance and changed/covered her parts as we went along. Even though we lost a performer mid-piece, we were able to work through the dance.”

Through and through, the performance was spectacular: the crowd was left wanting more by the end.

The wonderful thing about Bates is that it not only displays the great talents of our fellow classmates, but also creates a beautiful community of people with common interests. As Elbadawi states, “The dance community is a wonderful group of people and I always feel honored to share a stage with them. It was so nice to welcome new people and perform again with returners.”

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Mary Anne Bodnar dancing for the audience. DREW PERLMUTTER/THE BATES STUDENT