Students showcase variety of styles at annual WinterDance

Kristin Chase, senior in theatre, performed "Story of a Life" in the Mark Chapman Theatre during the dress rehearsal of Winter Dance on Dec 1, 2015. (Rachael Cunningham | The Collegian)

The School of Music, Theatre and Dance held its annual WinterDance over the weekend. Many different dance styles were showcased, including tap, jazz, ballet, modern and West African.

Elissa Bergmeier, freshman in political science, said the reward of being part of WinterDance is getting to see audience members enjoy themselves.

“The best part is seeing people smile,” Bergmeier said. “You can tell they like (the dance).”

Multiple pieces offered live music. The African Music and Dance Ensemble, made up of 13 dancers, performed the traditional West African piece called “Kpatsa.” The piece featured live drumming. Neil Dunn, instructor of dance, coordinated and directed the musicians and dancers.

A ballet piece, called “Songs from Europe,” featured a solo guitarist and was choreographed by Paul Zmolek, instructor of dance. It was his first piece as a choreographer and teacher at K-State.

David Ollington, associate professor of dance, teamed up with Paul Hunt, professor of music, to compose and write an “Alice in Wonderland” themed piece, titled “Dance of the Lobsters,” for the show. This music included a bass clarinet played by Tod Kerstetter, professor of music.

Dancers worked with a variety of musicians and choreographers for the show. Kennedy Trimble, sophomore in mass communications, said her favorite part of WinterDance is performing with others.

“The department has a lot of fun people to work with,” Trimble said.

About 40 students participated in WinterDance this year, according to Dunn. Tryouts were open to any major and dancing background. Hannah Yeoman, junior in biology, danced in the two tap numbers and the West African piece.

“I enjoy getting to show the audience my own style,” Yeoman said.

The performance concluded with the K-State Tap Dance Ensemble performing “Sing, Sing, Sing,” choreographed by Julie Pentz, associate director of dance. There were 21 tap dancers who danced in this piece that included upbeat music.

“I liked the last dance the best,” Brandon Bienhoff, junior in construction science and management, said. “It had (the tappers) all together and the music was great.”