Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

WT dancers prepare for “Portraits of Dance”

After over a semester of work, the big moment is finally here. Portraits of Dance, the annual showcase for West Texas A&M University’s Dance Performance majors, will premiere on April 25.

The show will take place in the Happy State Bank Studio Theatre in the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Center, and feature seven pieces choreographed by students, faculty and guest artists.

“Our first guest artist, Jeannie Hill, actually came in October, so these dancers have been working since fall semester,” Crystal Bertrand, the dance program oordinator for WT, said. “We’re very, very excited to be able to Showcase this in April.”

Students of the Dance Performance program have spent long hours training for their moment in the spotlight. Anna Martin, a dancer and WT sophomore, explained her and her classmate’s schedules.

WT Dance majors rehearse for “Portraits of Dance” in Mary Moody Northern Hall. (Michael Kidd)

“Depending on what we’re casted in, we rehearse every day from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. About three hours a day,” Martin said, “That’s not including the classes that we take and then additional rehearsals on Fridays and sometimes Saturdays. So we’re dancing all day together, most of the week.”

Many of the dancers at WT have been dancing for well over a decade before they reached WT. Freshman Hannah Metzger has been dancing for 15 years.

“Originally, my parents put me in dancing because I had so much energy that they needed an outlet for it and it just stuck and I fell in love with it,” Metzger said.

WT’s dancers put in a lot of work to perfect their craft, but according to Bertrand, that effort drew WT to them during their auditions. Bertrand described the auditioning process.

“For our majors, for our program, specifically, we look for people that have just a passion for the art; you can see that right away,” Bertrand said. “When it comes to people just being very passionate about something, you can see it. And, of course, the character and the abilities, and all of that is very, very important. But it’s a hectic schedule. It’s a discipline, and it’s an art that takes a lot of time and effort.

For these students, all the hard work will be worth it when they’re up on the big stage. Metzger described what she hopes the opening night will feel like.

“I think it’s just getting to experience the audience experiencing the show,” Metzger said. “I think that’s really special to perform for them. I love performing. That’s what I’m really passionate about. Getting to perform? Nothing else like it.”

Portraits of Dance will be showing from April 25-27 at 7:30 p.m., with an additional showing on April 28 at 2:30 p.m. WT students receive a free ticket to enjoy the performance.

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About the Contributors
Michael Kidd, Multimedia Reporter
Bryson Ramage
Bryson Ramage, Audio and Video Editor
I'm Bryson Ramage, pursuing a degree in digital media & communication at West Texas A&M University. Following my graduation in May 2024, I aspire to enter the field of funeral directing and embalming.

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