30 p.m. Saturday in the Ohio Union Performance Hall.
Schedules are coordinated, music and costumes are chosen, dances are choreographed and practice is put in. Pursuing a passion takes a lot of work, but it also takes a connection.
Dance Connection, which is in its first year as an Ohio State student organization, will hold their second performance of the year, titled “(Out of) Control,” in the Performance Hall of the Ohio Union on Saturday. Doors open at 7 p.m. for a “Human Artwork” improv show before Dance Connection performs at 7:30 p.m.
In 2009, Nicole Hebert and Jenny Heslop were dance minors at OSU when they came up with the idea. They had danced their entire lives and were going through “performance withdrawals,” as Hebert put it.
Hebert and Heslop formed the idea for Dance Connection, a student organization that anyone could join, even if they weren’t involved in dance at OSU. They wanted everyone to be able to pursue their passion for dancing beyond high school.
“It is a creative outlet and provides different opportunities to choreograph pieces and learn other dancers’ personal styles,” Jill Sanders, a third-year biomedical engineering major, said in an email.
Every student organization at OSU is required to have a faculty adviser. Hebert and Heslop found one for Dance Connection in an unlikely place: The Department of Ophthalmology.
Dance Connection was not the first student organization that Dr. Joan Nerderman, had advised. She oversees the campus “chadminton” team, a sport combining hockey and lacrosse with pillow fights, as well as “Eyes on Health,” which Nerderman said is in the pre-optometry department.
Nerderman picks the groups she advises based on interests that impact her own life.
“My high school daughter is a dancer, my son is on the chadminton team and the ‘Eyes on Health’ division of the pre-optometry department does a lot with outreach, which I really enjoy,” Nerderman said in an email.
With the help of faculty and members, Hebert and Heslop’s brainchild has grown to 38 dancers in less than a year. Their goal is to have two performances a year that are entirely produced by its members, who have become a close-knit family.
“I’m in a sorority, and I feel like I am closer with girls who are in Dance Connection than some of my sorority sisters. It’s one of the best groups I’ve ever been a part of,” said Ashley Cooper, a third-year in psychology.
Between producing and practicing for the shows, members have found that Dance Connection has changed their college experience.
“I would not be the person I am today without dance, and Dance Connection has allowed me to keep my passion, technique and love for dance strong throughout my first year at college,” Jennifer Kornswiet, a first-year double major in film studies and psychology, said in an email.
Beyond their experiences at OSU, the girls feel that membership in Dance Connection has shaped friendships that will last a lifetime.
“Dance Connection helped me make a lot more friends who shared the same interests as me. We really bond over performing,” said Alaina Herman, a third year in accounting.
Dance Connection will host special guests DanceSport at OSU, Folcor Hispano and OSU Irish Dance Club.
Admission is free to students with a BuckID and children under 10. Adults are $10 at the door.