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The Northerner

GALLERY: Dance Troupe takes over Strauss Theatre

Matt Gahris, Contributor

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The Dance Tour Troupe blended a variety of dance styles in a performance in the Fine Arts Center’s Stauss Theater on April 12 as part of NKU’s Celebration of Research and Creativity.

 

“We do everything from jazz to modern to contemporary,” troupe member Emanuel Picazo said. “We’re working on doing some tap here in the future and some hip hop, and we teach some ballet combinations and musical theater combinations as well.”

The troupe, led by advisor Dee Anne Bryll, consists of eight members and a stage manager. They perform pieces choreographed by Bryll and members of the group as well as guest choreographers. Members must audition for the program, which holds auditions annually.

The troupe tours around the region, primarily in elementary, middle and high schools but also everywhere from retirement homes to the Aronoff Center.

“It’s one of our core beliefs that we need to give something back to the community in which we live and work,” Michael Hatton, head of NKU’s Theater & Dance program, said. “One of the ways we do that is to take our tour troupes out to tour and present our art and work with children to help them develop their own artistic aesthetic and love of art.”

Engaging with local youths has been one of the highlights of Picazo’s experience with the troupe.

“Being able to go out to schools and work with kids, I think that’s an awesome thing,” Picazo said. “Most of these kids have never been introduced to dance and never thought it would be something cool or fun to do, especially the little guys. The girls love it but the guys are normally hesitant.”

McKenzie Reese, a freshman musical theater major, was drawn to the program by the opportunity to dance and perform.

“You get to do what you love every single day,” Reese said. “Every single day is so much fun. It’s a lot of work but it’s really worth it.”

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GALLERY: Dance Troupe takes over Strauss Theatre