Dancers Light Up Walker


Jeffrey Zhai ’20

Cici Bu ’20, Aurora Smedvig ’22, and Katerina Gill ’21 showcase the hip-hop dance, “Da Kool Kidz.”

Applause filled Walker Auditorium last Friday and Saturday during the annual performances of the Hotchkiss Dance Company. This year, dancers presented a range of dance styles, including modern, classical ballet, jazz, and hip-hop.

Ms. Allesandra Rinaldo and Ms. Lynn Peterson, instructors in dance, organized the event. Among the five pieces performed, Ms. Rinaldo choreographed two premiered pieces, “Valse du Salon” and “Abyss,” Kate St. Amand created “Matryoshka” and “Abravanel,” and guest choreographer Rivkins Christopher choreographed “Da Kool Kidz.” 

Starting in January, the dancers practiced three days a week to solidify and perfect the choreography. Each of the 13 dancers in the Dance Company performed in three to five pieces, depending on their skill level and experience.

Cici Bu ’20, who has performed with the Dance Company for three years, described rehearsing without the mirror, “It was tough for us at the beginning, since we always had the tendency to look at [ourselves] in the mirror. But once we got used to it… I no longer cared about how the dance looked, but more about how it felt and the message it should be delivering.”

The performances last week were the company’s first under Ms. Rinaldo and Ms. Peterson’s leadership. Ms. Rinaldo said, “My favorite part of the performance is seeing the final product of all the dances on stage with the lights and the dancers in costume. It’s great to see how the choreographic process evolved into being performance-ready, and I am always so proud to see the final product.”

Yuki Zhang ’22, who attended the performance, said, “[The dancers] were able to express their emotions and passions through various dance techniques. Their movements were full of meaning, energy, and passion.”

The annual performance offers a place for the dancers to share the art of dance with the community. Ms. Peterson said, “Nothing would bring the students to a higher place of execution and commitment than… having the opportunity to share these dances with their community. I believe dance is an art form meant to be used to connect and communicate.”

The annual performance by the Dance Company will continue to bring the community a variety of dance styles. The Dance Company will be back to perform next year.