(L to R) Erica Jackson, Genevieve Johnson, Kylee Smith, Brianna Rhodes, Marissa Thomas and Baylie Macrae rehearse for the Senior Concert. Credit: Courtesy of Hana Newfeld

Every year, seniors graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance have to showcase four years of work through a senior project. This year, a group of members in the Class of 2017 have the opportunity to showcase their talent in the Senior Concert.

Tess Gilbert is organizing the concert, which features 11 students and their senior projects for her senior project. Gilbert is the first person who has organized an event rather than choreographed or performed for her final project.

“Typically students’ senior projects are in performing or choreographing. My interest in the dance world is in arts and administration, so my senior project was planning this event,” Gilbert said.

Callie Lacinski will be the opening act of the concert, performing a duet with cellist Lissa Reed. Lacinski grew up in commercial dance, but she said she transitioned to concert dance after coming to Ohio State, which stemmed the idea for her senior project. She said commercial dance is relatable styles commonly seen on television or in music videos such as jazz, tap, lyrical and hip-hop, while concert dance is performed by a company and is more abstract.

“I have been going through this struggle of discounting previous experience of commercial dance in order to explore concert dance, which created a dual personality for me,” Lacinski said. “The goal of my senior project was to bridge the gap between commercial and concert dance.”

Kylee Smith will be closing out the concert with her project, which explores the history of black female bodies in American culture. Smith will perform a three-minute solo in her eight-minute piece when other dancers will leave the stage. This will represent the idea that she and her dancers are “separate but together,” referencing the theme of her piece. Her solo is representative of her standing out in society as a black woman whereas the group parts represent her finding a sense of belonging among other women like herself, she said.

“I am interested in using dance to evoke social commentary and change within society,” Smith said. “If one person leaves changed in the slightest, I will consider my piece a success.”

Performances are on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. with an additional show at 3 p.m. on Saturday in Barnett Theatre in Sullivant Hall.