What exactly is Dance Company? Is it just dance in general, or of many types? Does a company own it? What’s involved? In answer to these questions, one must consider the fact that much time and effort must be put into a project they feel passionate about. Makyla Grovenburg, a current Salt lake Community College student, and one of its very own choreographic dance instructors, does just that.
As a sophomore at Judge Memorial High School, Grovenburg learned the basics of modern dance while acting as a cheerleader for her school. Since then, Grovenburg has expanded her knowledge of dance, and has become more confident in what she can do.
“At Judge, it was really just modern dance,” she explains, “That’s why I think Salt Lake Community College is so awesome.”
Grovenburg has grown from her experiences, having choreographed with Desert Star for theatrical dances, and has learned that dancing seems to be a part of one’s culture and natural way of life. “I’ve broadened my dance vocabulary [while learning] different types of dance. It’s been really cool.”
Now, as an instructor, Grovenburg gets the chance to take her dance experience further.
Continuing their inspirational and artistic style, SLCC’s Dance Company will be performing part two of its piece, Moving Stories. This event will take place Apr. 9 and 10 at the South City campus’ Grand Theatre, with an admission of $8 without food, and $4 with two non-perishable items.
Keep in mind that the term “dance” does not always consist of one particular form or genre. In this case, the dance company will exhibit various types in its celebration of culture, including Modern, Brazilian, African, Hip-Hop, Ballet, and Jazz. “I know for most of us, we’ve been trying to get people to understand that Dance Company isn’t just one particular dance,” Grovenburg explains, ” It’s about dance cultures in general. We like to expand our knowledge on the different types of cultures.”
Even as a dancer, Grovenburg understands the importance of reaching out to those in need by giving back in a very tangible way. In partnership with the Utah Food Bank, SLCC and its dancers have put together a dance concert in order to promote their show as well as the Utah Food Drive.
How will they do this? By simply encouraging others to attend the concert, as well as bring non-personal items, or non-perishable foods, such as canned goods or bottled water. Although clothing is not recommended, Grovenburg explains that all options are open. “Just [bring] anything that makes this enjoyable. People without food are desperate, as I know. Why would you give someone food that you wouldn’t eat yourself?”
The Utah Food Bank will then take the food items given and deliver them to children and families in need. “Personally, I know there’s so many people that have gone hungry,” says Grovenburg, “But if you can [allow] one person to have a meal, then that’s a good goal.”
This year, just as SLCC’s Dance Company has a wide mix of dances and people on its team, they will be performing dances that, as Grovenburg describes, “Actually have a story behind them, that actually affect us.” For Grovenburg, her dance specifically tells the story of her boyfriend, who is presently in Afghanistan. There are other girls on the team as well with stories about people with cancer, and they will show how to remain strong during those tough times.
If someone were skeptical about coming to a dance concert, Grovenburg would respond by encouraging him or her to, “Be a bigger part of the community, and not be a selfish person. It’s not about you,” she explains, “It’s about helping somebody else.”
In terms of what one might think of the performances, Grovenburg hopes that they will, “Understand the messages of all of our dances. We’ve done the dances with story lines to get you to think about your own life and inspire it afterwards. It’s about the community,” says Grovenburg, “It’s about giving back and improving somebody else’s life.”