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Welsh Fam hosts DanceFest

COURTENAY DEVLIN | Friday, February 5, 2010

This Friday and Saturday night, Washington Hall will be brimming with different styles of dance—from hip-hop to Irish Stepping — as Welsh Family Hall presents its annual signature event, DanceFest 2010.

This year’s event is titled “Bad Romance,” which is a reference to the hit Lady Gaga song.
The show, co-directed by Kaitlyn Mahoney and Sarah Grothaus, is bound to be unique and diverse with eight different dance groups performing — The Notre Dame Dance Company, Pom Squad, Ballet Folklorico, Troop ND, Irish Dance Team, Ballroom Dance Club, The Swing Club and The First Class Steppers.

Along with these performances, there will also be seven DanceFest Dances created specifically for the show. Prospective dancers—with different focus from ballet and tap, to jazz and hip-hop, attended tryouts in Sept., and have practiced weekly throughout the year.

“It’s a great opportunity for people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to dance because of their schedules, but who grew up dancing, and still want to express themselves in that way here at Notre Dame,” Grothaus said.

Claire Stephens, who is performing in the “Give It To Me” dance, is really excited to be on stage again.

“I’m thrilled to be dancing again — being a freshman and still figuring things out, it was great to get a chance to do what I love and make new friends,” Stephens said. “The hip-hop dance is definitely going to be awesome, and I can’t wait to be performing on stage with the bright lights, makeup and audience”

Welsh Family’s own Caitlin Cunningham, a freshman, is debuting on the sound board, and many other residents of the hall are supporting the event by being ushers and collecting fees at the door. The event, which will take place at 7 p.m., will cost $5 a person, with all proceeds going to the Robinson Community Learning Center’s Shakespeare Company.

Grothaus, who has just returned from a semester abroad in London where she personally performed in the Globe Theatre, and who spent last summer working with local kids in the program said she is happy to be able to support the Shakespeare Company.

“It’s incredible to watch these kids grow and express themselves through theatre,” Sarah said. “I learned so much from the kids that I really wanted to support the program.”