Dancing is an activity that sets a tone and makes a statement. It’s raw expression.
Few can claim to be great dancers, but most can enjoy flailing on a dance floor from time to time. It takes talent to understand that specific movements, or lack of movement, will convey a feeling.
Practice, trial and error, and talent are required to turn that wild flailing into a poignant and emotional expression. Salt Lake Community College’s Dance Company knows exactly how to express themselves and is preparing to showcase each expression and emotion in their spring concert.
“I know there are some method dancers, but this is all me. I have emotions. It’s such a beautiful release, and it feels good,” says Shae Howell, a member of SLCC’s dance company.
Dancing, to Howell, is more than just an expression: it’s an outlet. A way to put her energy into something powerful. Having battled addiction and being clean for four years, Howell dances to keep moving forward.
“I feel that I’ve grown a lot through dance,” says Howell.
Howell started dancing at eight years-old and now at 29, she is looking forward to this year’s spring concert, her final one at SLCC.
“We’ve done a dance on social media, on human trafficking,” she says. “I’m just excited for our families and friends to see what we’ve been working so hard on.”
This isn’t the end of Howell’s dancing days, as she is continuing to the University of Utah, to get a degree in education.
“I want to teach dance, and work with at-risk kids,” she says.
Like Howell, Carlos Mejia, another dance company member, is looking to sharpen his dancing talents for the future.
“I’ve wanted to do something dance-related. My overall goal is to be a dance therapist,” he says.
Mejia is a relatively new to SLCC’s dance company, being 19 and in his first year of college. He performed for his high school dance company but is impressed by the dedication he sees with his SLCC teammates.
“We all have lives, jobs and being able to show up at the same time, making a concert every week, is not something you see anywhere else,” he says.
That dedication shows in their ability to perform synchronized routines, complete with lifts and tumbles, but also to showcase a story or idea through dance.
The spring concert highlights individual performances as well and is choreographed by the dancers themselves.
“I choreographed and it’s very Latin-based, so I’m excited to see the audience’s reactions,” says Mejia.
SLCC’s dance company concert is entitled “Pure Gold” and will be held in the Grand Theatre at South City Campus on April 19 and 20 from 7-8:30 p.m. Come see the stories, emotions, and dedication from dancers like Howell and Mejia, who poured themselves into each routine.
General admission is $5. Students can get in free if you bring a canned food and a student ID.