Commentary: NUDANCO wonderful experience

I transferred to Northeastern this fall, unsure of myself or my direction here. A “recovering ballerina,” I had trained and danced professionally in New York City before becoming thoroughly disillusioned with the dance world. I had chosen the struggle for a successful dance career over an education, and therefore chosen art over academia. Subsequently, I spent years rehearsing and performing for little pay and even less personal fulfillment. I found myself both physically and emotionally battered by the callous reality of my own dream, for which I had strived since early childhood. I was no longer dancing for myself, but for the approval of an authority to which I was just a body that fit a costume.

I reconsidered my options, left the dance world, and applied to Northeastern. I was prepared to give up dance entirely. I didn’t think it was possible to be both intellectually stimulated and able to dance in a positive environment until I came to Northeastern and joined Northeastern University Dance Company (NUDANCO).

When I stepped into the studio to audition for NUDANCO’s winter performance, I expected a typical dance audition atmosphere of scrutiny and judgment. Instead of dirty looks and suspicion, I found excitement emanating from the eyes of everyone in the room. As rehearsals began, and I got to know more members of the company and came to realize this is an incredible community where the core creative values of dance are represented. Dancing should be expressive, not restrictive. NUDANCO supports this concept.

After leaving my professional dance experience, which emphasized strict perfectionism, it was refreshing to find in NUDANCO an emphasis on performance quality and joy. What has impressed me most is that the quality of technique and choreography is not lost in this process.

With the multitude of student groups on campus, NUDANCO is often overlooked, and it shouldn’t be. Our performances each semester provide an eclectic mix of dance styles, which combine to make a very entertaining show. In addition, the classes each week reflect the diverse range of styles in our performances. There is something for everyone in NUDANCO, from beginners to advanced dancers, because it exists as a product of its members.

I feel so lucky to have found this community. I assumed I would have to leave dance behind to study at Northeastern, but I found I was happily mistaken. NUDANCO has been a consistent outlet for me this year, and a perfect way to incorporate dance into the college experience. I encourage anyone with an interest in dance to join our community. More information on the company, how to join and auditions for our spring performance are on our website at www.nudanco.neu.edu.

-Elise Ramsay is a sophomore psychology major.

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