Ania Cotton | Contributing Writer
The Terpsichorean Dance Company will finally get the chance to showcase their annual Fall Show this Friday. Their first show was originally set for Parent’s Weekend but was cancelled after Hurricane Joaquin created unsafe conditions. The Terps’ advisor, Ms. Crystal Neal, and two members, Mercedes Fitzpatrick and Maya Allen gave the inside scoop about what to expect in the upcoming performance.
Ms. Neal is a proud Hampton alum and Terpsichorean Dance Company veteran. She was involved with the company for about 10 years. She became the company’s new Creative/ Artistic Director after moving back to the area in 2009. When asked about the inspiration for this year’s theme, she explained, “It is more of a collection of works in various styles of movement. I did, however, encourage the dancers to tell a story with their movement.” Dancers will have the opportunity to express themselves in various scenes where they are dolls, goddesses, members of an African Tribe, and spies.
Mercedes Fitzpatrick, a senior Kinesiology major from Detroit, Michigan, has been dancing for 17-years and has been involved with Terps since her freshman year at Hampton University. Now serving as the 2015-2016 president, she explained how she originally wanted to become a member because of her passion for dance. “I saw [the passion] while watching videos on YouTube before I arrived at Hampton.” After taking one of the company’s classes, Mercedes became a member and became a part of what she describes as, “an amazing family.”
Maya Allen, a Sophomore Strategic Communications major, Sociology minor from Denver, CO, has been dancing for 10 years and has been a member of the company since Fall 2014. She has trained in jazz, modern, ballet, contemporary, and African Dance. Allen says her favorite part of being a member is “the bond you develop with fellow dancers and being able to have a space where I can express myself and my passion without judgment.”
In preparation for Friday’s highly anticipated show, Allen shared that she has been working out in the gym regularly to build up her endurance. Fitzpatrick says that she has been preparing one day at a time, balancing her school work as well as her responsibilities as president.
When asked about how the cancellation of Parent’s Weekend affected the show, Ms. Neal said it was upsetting. The dancers were excited to have their parents and families attend, but some were not able to reschedule for the new date. She mentioned that their concert has always played a large role in Parent’s Weekend. “It is our biggest concert that the parents and community members look forward to.”
On a positive note, Neal mentioned that the company had, “Three dancers with injuries that were able to heal and now the entire company has had time to rest their bodies and focus on their school work.”
The dancers are excited to showcase their talents, passion, and growth as dancers thus far, and put on a show that will leave the audience in awe. Like Ms. Neal says, “It is always a fun transition to watch, these dancers come in as caterpillars and by the time they hit Ogden’s stage they are butterflies.”