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DanceFest raises funds for theater scholarship

Theresa Civantos | Monday, February 4, 2008

Eight Notre Dame dance groups performed for 600 people this weekend in DanceFest, hosted by Welsh Family Hall.

“Attendance was about what we expected,” event coordinator Katie Hatfield said.

In two nights, Hatfield said, DanceFest raised nearly $2,000 for Southold Dance Theater, one of the premier dance theaters in Indiana. The money will allow students to enroll in Southold who normally would be unable to afford its tuition.

DanceFest started five years ago under the leadership of Mary Dubon, who has since graduated, Hatfield said.

When Dubon founded DanceFest, “there was virtually no exposure for dance groups on campus,” Hatfield said. “She was looking for a way to bring dance to campus.”

Hatfield performed in DanceFest her freshman and sophomore years, then took over as coordinator. Since she assumed leadership, she said, “there’s been more focus on trying to bring every dance group on campus into one show.”

Hatfield said every student dance group performed except the Pom Squad, because it had to perform at the men’s basketball game against DePaul. The groups included Troop ND – a hip-hop dance group – and Project Fresh, a hip-hop and break-dancing group, as well as the Irish Dance Team, the Ballroom Dance Club, Swing Club, First Class Steppers, Dance Company of Notre Dame and Ballet Folklorico.

The DanceFest committee members participated in many of the dances and put together a few of the numbers themselves.

“There were between 120 and 130 performers, so it got a little crazy backstage,” Hatfield said.

Southold Dance Theater students participated in several numbers as well.

“This is the first year Southold was in it,” Hatfield said. “We hope to bring in more groups from outside campus in the future.”

Since Hatfield is graduating this year, she will pass the leadership of DanceFest to freshmen Kaitlyn Maloney and Sarah Grothaus.

“We want to keep making DanceFest bigger and better each year,” Hatfield said.