The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Performing Arts Company prepares for 2018 Small Show

3 min read
By ASHLEIGH GRIM Staff Writer The collaborative dose of dancing that you’ve been missing is back this semester.

Claire Marsala


Staff Writer

The collaborative dose of dancing that you’ve been missing is back this semester.

The Performing Arts Company (PAC) presented their Small Show at 8:00 p.m. in Dodd Auditorium, on Oct. 10. Different dance groups from all over campus performed during the show.

PAC is a student run and student funded dance organization that provides performance opportunities and dance class opportunities for UMW students each semester. The company formed after the dance major was discontinued in the 1990s.

“PAC kind of took [the] place of the dance major so that students still had a way to perform, have shows and get together as groups of students to choreograph and still be able to dance,” said PAC president and senior sociology major Kat Peterson.

They perform their Small Show once a semester with a wide variety of different types of dance included in the show. It is open to all PAC members and the other dance clubs on campus.

“Small Show is our community show, so PAC has some dances, Bhangra has a piece, belly dance has a piece and UMW Dance Team also is involved,” said Claire Marsala, a junior linguistics and French double major.

This show gives first-time choreographers their first opportunity to present pieces with the company. These choreographers had to have performed with the company for at least two semesters before they are eligible to choreograph.

“This is my first time choreographing ever. It’s been a little crazy, especially for small show because we only had five weeks, five rehearsals. It’s a little intense, but it always works out,” said Marsala.

With Small Show being only five weeks into the semester, there are some challenges preparing for everything. Communication is vital in the process of making Small Show possible.

“We have to communicate with different people of the university, to book our shows in Dodd we have to book those a year in advance. We are students but we have to work with a lot of different campus entities still, so not having the faculty backing can sometimes be a challenge, but we make it work,” said Peterson.

A lot of communication is required in order to put all of the pieces together for these shows. Not only do the PAC members have to communicate with faculty, but the choreographers have work around the busy schedules of the college students in their pieces.

“Everyone is so busy that we haven’t had a full rehearsal yet. I have ten people in my dance and every time we’ve had seven or nine, something like that, and I haven’t gotten to see the full dance. It’s a lot of trial and error,” said Marsala.

Even though the planning of it is intense and stressful at times, Small Show gives the opportunity for the UMW students to experience the art of dance in its many different forms. It allows its members to choreograph and grow in what they love while bringing many different genres of dance under one roof for the community to enjoy.

There will be a review of Small Show in next week’s edition of the Blue & Gray Press.

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