Tag Archives: dance program

Two students dance in the fall 2017 Richland College production of "Thriller" Richland College Dance Program Presents ‘DANCE–Take a Walk on the Wild Side!’ Fall Dance Concert

The Richland College dancers may not have moves like Jagger, but they will have moves like jaguars! The fur will be flying at the upcoming fall dance concert, “DANCE—Take a Walk on the Wild Side!,” at 12:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2.

Directed by Richland College dance director Gina Sawyer, “DANCE—Take a Walk on the Wild Side!” will involve both students and faculty in choreography and performance roles, with dance genres including contemporary modern, lyrical, jazz, tap and hip-hop.

“DANCE—Take a Walk on the Wild Side!” is a creative endeavor to bring awareness and to inspire a passion for nature and wildlife with a zoological theme, and audiences are invited to attend and engage in a “zoo-rific” opportunity to appreciate dance.

Choreography will include original pieces by Cheryl Callon, Cooper Delgado, Kaley Jensen and Lauren Schieffer-Holley. Repertoire will include a tap piece from Dallas legend Buster Cooper, recreated by his granddaughter, guest artist Keira Leverton and performance by her company Choreo Records. Guest artists include Kaley Jensen and Dallas Black Dance Theater’s Encore!

Leverton comes from a dance background—her grandfather was Buster Cooper, an influential tap dancer who founded the dance program at the Hockaday School. Much of her exposure to the tap community was through tap festivals such as the Chicago Human Rhythm Project and the Third Coast Rhythm Project, and she trained with a variety of professionals, including Gregory Hines and Yuji Uragami. Leverton has performed worldwide at venues such as Radio City Music Hall and Wembley Stadium in London.

Jensen was born and raised in Atlanta and graduated from Brigham Young University with a major in dance and minor in business. While at BYU, Jensen performed and toured with the Theatre Ballet Company all four years. Jensen has trained on multiple scholarship programs, including the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance and Ballet West, as well as achieving academic and international talent awards at the World Dance Movement in Italy. Last May, Jensen completed her M.F.A. in dance at the University of Arizona, where she also deepened her passion for performing, educating and choreographing. Currently, Jensen dances professionally as a company member with Ballet North Texas.

Dallas Black Dance Theater’s Encore!, under the direction of Nycole Ray, is a professional company that consists of eight aspiring artists from around the nation. Since its inception, Encore! has grown in popularity and thrilled audiences with its fresh allure. Encore! provides an opportunity for young artists to develop their dance skills while serving the Dallas/Ft. Worth community and touring around the world with dance performances of the highest artistic quality.

The Richland College dance program provides a challenging teaching and learning environment for students who value diversity. The program develops artistic excellence, fosters creative and collaborative practices and encourages personal agency and social responsibility in appreciating dance.

“DANCE—Take a Walk on the Wild Side!” is free and open to the public in the Fannin Performance Hall on the east side of the Richland College campus. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Road.


Richland College Dance Program Presents ‘Thriller’ Fall Concert

The Richland College dance program will be preying on our fear of the unknown with an upcoming fall dance concert, “Thriller,” at 12:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3.

Directed by Richland College dance director Gina Sawyer, “Thriller” will involve both students and faculty in choreography and performance roles, with dance genres including contemporary modern, lyrical, jazz, tap and hip-hop.

“Thriller” is about exploring the mystery of the unknown through dance performance. Each choreographer has created a unique take on the subject, ranging from celebrating recognizable images in pop culture to conceptual pieces addressing surreal fantasy.

Sawyer also created an original piece, “The Scream,” which will be performed by Richland students.

“I am hoping to get a reaction of discomfort by abstracting and juxtaposing everyday and invented movements in a bizarre fashion, allowing the visual imagery of the dance to build in intensity until it reaches out and grabs the audience,” Sawyer said of her piece.

In addition to Sawyer, choreography will include original pieces by Cooper Delgado, Christie Nelson and Lauren Schieffer. Repertoire will include a tap piece from Dallas legend Buster Cooper, recreated by his granddaughter, guest artist Keira Leverton. The Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet Company under the direction of Emilie Skinner will also guest perform.

Kiera Leverton comes from a dance background—her grandfather was Buster Cooper, an influential tap dancer who founded the dance program at the Hockaday School. Much of her exposure to the tap community was through tap festivals such as the Chicago Human Rhythm Project and the Third Coast Rhythm Project, and she trained with a variety of professionals, including Gregory Hines and Yuji Uragami. Leverton has performed worldwide at venues such as Radio City Music Hall and Wembley Stadium in London.

Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet was established in 2011 as a nonprofit organization to bring concerts emphasizing neo-classical ballet to the Dallas-Fort Worth community, while also creating a venue for experienced classical dancers to utilize their training. The company’s dancers are primarily from the north Texas region.

Neoclassical ballet is the style of classical ballet exemplified by sophisticated and modern choreography, retaining the pointe shoe aesthetic, but often without the excessive drama and mime of the full length story ballets of previous eras.

The Richland College dance program provides a challenging teaching and learning environment for students that values diversity and develops artistic excellence, fosters creative and collaborative practices and encourages personal agency and social responsibility in appreciating dance.

“Thriller” is free and open to the public in the Fannin Performance Hall on the east side of the Richland College campus. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Road.