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Welsh Fam presents ‘DanceFest’

Liz Lefebvre | Friday, February 6, 2009

This weekend, Washington Hall will be filled with variety of dancers performing everything from hip hop to ballet as Welsh Family Hall puts on one of its signature events, the Welsh Family DanceFest, this weekend.

The two evenings of performances feature different types of dance and eight groups from across Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s. The groups performing include Dance Company of Notre Dame, Ballroom Dance Team, Swing Dance Club, ND/SMC Irish Dance, Team Ballet Folklorico Azul y Oro, Troop ND, and First Class Steppers.

“One of the goals of the event is to showcase all the different types of dance. This year we have pieces from tap, jazz, modern, lyrical, Irish step dance, stepping, swing, ballroom, and traditional Hispanic dance,” sophomore co-director Kaitlyn Maloney said.

In addition to the established campus dance groups, DanceFest also features six numbers that were choreographed specifically for this show. The DanceFest dancers auditioned in September and having been practicing once a week since then for this event.

The numbers highlight a wide variety of talents, as some dancers have almost 20 years of experience, while many of the campus groups welcome beginners.

“DanceFest provides a great opportunity for people who have danced in the past to continue dancing at college,” said senior Lauren Nolan, one of the DanceFest choreographers.

Providing this chance for dancers on campus was one of the main reasons why DanceFest was created. “The idea for the show was initiated by a Welsh Family resident six years ago who realized there was no single outlet for all the dance groups on campus to come together and perform,” Maloney said.

Nolan noted the importance of promoting different cultural dances through DanceFest.

“This is an event for students that explores different types of dance. Students can increase their cultural awareness about dance by seeing styles they may not have encountered before,” she said.

Maloney is excited to see the result of the hard work and dedication of all the DanceFest members this weekend. “Planning and directing a show is so much more work than I had ever imagined,” Maloney said. “But it’s been so worth it. I’ve met a lot of talented people and learned so much about both event planning and the technical aspects of theater. I can’t wait to see the finished product,”she said.

The performances will take place Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $4 at the door.

This year, all the proceeds from DanceFest will benefit La Casa De Amistad, a youth and adult center located on the west side of South Bend, which addresses the needs of South Bend area Hispanics through organized activities and support.