Friday, February 3, 2012

Southern Union Dancers take the stage

The Southern Union Dancers will be making a “Splash” in March for their annual Spring Show.

“The theme for the show is water... Its really fluid and the common element for the majority of the songs is water,” Sonja Fincher, Instructor of Dance at Southern Union State Community College said. “We really wanted to incorporate musical theater into this production but we already do so much of that with the Christmas Show and the Spring Show that I wanted to showcase some of the other talents of this group.”
The dancers will entertain at the Renaissance Theater March 6-9 and according to Fincher more than 50 students will perform.

“We have 20 Southern Union Dancers, 10 high school dancers and a beginner class with about 25 dancers that will all take part in the show,” Fincher said. “Of course the Southern Union Dancers will be the predominant part of the performance.
A variety of styles of dance will be featured including modern, jazz, ballet, hip hop and contemporary.
“Its going to be mostly a contemporary show,” Fincher said. “Which blends two or more styles of dance.
“The biggest difference from this show and the others we do throughout the year is that we have the full use of the stage,” she said. “Which allows us to do a lot of our harder dancing.”

Fincher has been the instructor of dance at Southern Union for 15 years and has been teaching dance since she was in high school, including 14 years as the owner of Roanoke Academy of Ballet. With her 20 years of experience, Fincher has many success stories in the dance world including Andrea Costa who once danced with Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

Andrea began dancing when she was 4 with Fincher at the Roanoke Academy of Ballet and continued with Fincher through her first two years of college at Southern Union. After graduating from the University of Alabama, Costa went on to dance with Radio City Music Hall in New York for several years. She has returned home now and works at Dancer Center on Main in Wedowee. She also is helping with this production as a choreographer.

“She was always one of my darlings,” Fincher said. “But, what is special to me is that so many of my dancers are successful in the professional world and still have a foot in the dance community. Both dance studio owners in Randolph County danced with me and there are numerous teachers that sponsor dance teams or cheerleaders at their respective schools.”

The dancers have the opportunity to learn different styles of dance at Southern Union.

“It is really important for our dancers to see different styles of dance and we wouldn't be able to do that without the guest choreographers,” Fincher said. “We are able to do that through funding by the Coosa Valley Resource and Conservation Development Council, Sen. Gerald Dial and the college itself.

“We really can't afford to have big name people come in and work with the dancers, but we are able to get students that have worked with big names and then we have Andrea that has worked as a professional dancer in our area,” Fincher said.

Other choreographers include Jamie McCord and Erin Roach from Kennesaw State University as well as SUSCC student choreographers Malorie Hester and Jordan Smith.

“All the girls are contributing to this show,” Fincher said. “I wanted them to feel it was their show.”
Some of the songs the dancers will use in their performances include Adele's “Rolling in the Deep,” Alvin Aley's “Wade in the Water” as well as music from Swan Lake.

“Not all the songs feature a water element,” Fincher said. “But it is a prevailing theme throughout the show.”
Tickets cost $5 and will be available at the Southern Union Business Office starting February 15. Buying advance tickets is encouraged due to the limited size of the venue.

“It will be in the Renissance Theatre which is great because it is a smaller venue,” Fincher said. “It makes tickets harder to get, but it’s a more intimate setting.”

The lighting and sound will be provided by Shawn Lockwood and his team of students.
“Shawn does a fantastic job for us,” Fincher said. “He always has a lot of fun with our show because of the lighting he can use.”


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