Throughout the month of March, a group of 12 undergraduate students in Ohio State’s Department of Dance will travel to local schools to perform several pieces for students in the community. With this group, the dancers hope to make an impact outside of the university.
“Community outreach is the biggest goal with the group,” Olivia Ward, a fourth-year in dance and student tour manager, said. “We get to travel to the schools and have a presence in the community.”
Grace Malone, a first-year in dance, said she’s excited to tour with the group not only because it gives her the opportunity to perform, but also because there’s another rewarding payoff.
“I’m most excited about working with kids and exposing the arts to a younger group,” Malone said.
With a younger audience, Malone said that the cast and choreographers had to use their creativity in putting together pieces for the performance.
“You have to add a fun aspect to dances when performing for younger crowds to keep them excited and interested in the performance,” Malone said. “We have a really cool basketball piece in the performance that I think the kids will really enjoy.”
Along with the basketball piece, students at the schools will witness a variety of other dance styles. Ward said she believes the diversity in the performances will shine through because of seven different choreographers who all put “their own flavor in their pieces.”
While trying to be a resource for students, Malone said she feels that the performers gain a lot from this opportunity as well.
“This group has been a bonding experience for me, and I got to work with other dancers to help figure out things about dancing that I otherwise would have had to figure out myself,” Malone said.
The school touring group is not the only way for younger students to get involved with the dance department. Ward said there is also College Day, an event that the department puts on as a way for students to learn more about dance.
“We always want to find ways to inspire students and foster a love for the arts,” Ward said.