When a general audience watches a dance performance, the long, grueling hours the dancers spent practicing are usually not the first thing on their minds, but the dancers' talent and dedication will take centerstage at the Student Choreography Showcase on Thursday.
“The student choreography showcase is a time when all the dancers here at USC can show off how good they really are," said Vidal James, third-year dance student. "It could be from the amount of tricks they can do to the amount of training. It’s filled with a lot of emotion because the pieces are so different.”
In addition to showcasing talent on stage, the choreography students want to showcase the arduous steps it takes to create the final product.
Fourth-year dance student Neely Moss said the goal of the event is "to allow students to have the experience of going through the entire choreographic process from concept to stage."
Many student choreographers prepared pieces for the event. They strived to highlight an important and emotional struggle that was and still is an integral part of their lives, proving that the body's physical movements can tell some of the deepest stories.
“I choreographed a piece, 'Pillars', explores the different ideologies of independence," Moss said. "The first section shares the notion that to be independent one must face everything alone, as the work continues it is realized that true independence is not being afraid to face life’s adversities with the support of family and friends."
Sharing internal struggles through the medium of dance in the Student Choreography Showcase is a way for students to connect with their audience through meaningful choreography they arranged themselves. Vidal choreographed a piece for a showcase during the fall semester, which was selected and reworked for Thursday's show.
“My piece (from the fall) was about the struggle within yourself while trying to help others," Vidal said. "This time, it’s just about the struggle that’s within yourself and no matter what you do it never goes away."
Alumni dancers from the USC dance program have also choreographed dances for the showcase, creating ties between students who have graduated and entered the professional dancing world and those who are still mastering the art. The show is at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday in the Koger Center for the Arts. Tickets are $12 for students, $16 for faculty, military and seniors (60+) and $18 for general public.