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Published: October 16, 2020

October’s Fall Dance Happening Highlights Social Justice

The Fall Dance Happening will take place Oct. 28—30 at The University of Tampa, featuring popular music and student dancers from all parts of the University community. The free show begins at 8 p.m. in UT’s Falk Theater on Kennedy Boulevard opposite campus. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this event is for UT community members only.

Dance students on stage
The students worked with faculty mentors to develop their choreography throughout the rehearsal process. *Photo taken prior to the pandemic. Photo courtesy of Susannah LeMarquand

Fifty students will participate in all three performances. This year’s highlight is a collaboration between students in the Dance Improvisation and Speech for Social Justice classes. Together they have created a spoken word piece in five parts dealing with important social justice issues such as human trafficking, sexism, ableism, classism and Black Lives Matter.

“The Dance Happening is a transformative experience for many of our students, both choreographers and dancers,” said Susannah LeMarquand, director of the UT dance program. “They work together to bring an abstract concept into reality on the stage, and then see how dance can truly impact all involved, from dancers to the audience.”

All of the pieces cover a multitude of themes, and this year the students worked with faculty mentors to develop their choreography throughout the rehearsal process.

“What is really unique about the dance program is that we give our students the opportunity to choreograph and set their own pieces twice a year,” said LeMarquand. “Since the focus of the major is preparing the students to teach, we encourage those pieces to be a unique expression of themselves but also for them to realize that many of them will graduate and begin teaching in local dance studios. This means that they should also hone the skill of choreographing in the style of jazz, hip hop and tap; not just ballet and modern. This makes the program very diverse and entertaining.”

The Dance Happening is free, but due to COVID-19 restrictions seating is limited, so arrive early for the best seats. For more information, call (813) 257-6322.         

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