Tap, jazz and more: K-State Spring Dance 2019 showing at McCain this weekend

Students with the Kansas State School of Music, Theatre and Dance performed during the 2017 Spring Dance at McCain Auditorium on March 31, 2017. The 2019 Spring Dance is showing at McCain this weekend with a variety of dances featured. (Archive Photo by Justin Wright | Collegian Media Group)

With warm weather sweeping over the state, some students may want to get up and dance — including the Kansas State University dance department, performing its annual Spring Dance this weekend in McCain Auditorium.

Spring Dance is one of the department’s two major performances of the year, along with Winter Dance in the fall semester.

Preparations for the upcoming show began a semester in advance as songs and dances were selected, choreographed and rehearsed. Dancers at K-State often rehearse twice a week at hour-long practice sessions.

One of the seven dances to be performed is a guest piece choreographed by Diavolo, a Los Angeles-based dance company. Diavolo is known for its “Architecture in Motion” choreography, which utilizes props in an attempt to provide a different dancing experience.

Hannah Yeoman, senior in wildlife and fisheries conservation biology, said Diavolo’s piece will feature military veterans as part of the company’s Veterans Project.

Another piece to be showcased is a solo dance choreographed by a student. The remaining five pieces were choreographed by faculty members: Julie Pentz, professor of dance; Neil Dunn, dance instructor; Kate Digby, assistant professor of dance; and Stephen Loch, dance instructor.

The show will feature a variety of dance and music styles, including tap, jazz, modern and African pieces.

“It’s just a really diverse show,” Yeoman said.

Because of the multitude of styles, Yeoman said she believes everyone will find at least one piece that resonates with them.

Olivia Mangual, junior in finance, is in three dance pieces this year. She said her favorite part of Spring Dance is participating in the warm-up.

“It’s a time to come together to prepare individually and as a group before the show,” Mangual said.

Ellie Ward, senior in secondary education, said her favorite part of Spring Dance is the atmosphere and the energy that exists between the performers. She also said Spring Dance will be especially unique this year, opening with a piece that is a combination of tap and jazz.

“It has different sections,” Ward said. “Jazz dancers will start out, then it switches into tap. At the end, they will all come together, which I don’t think has been done a whole lot, especially here at K-State.”

Tickets can be purchased online at the McCain website or in-person through the McCain box office. Performances will be held Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in McCain.