Elon University’s annual Fall Dance Concert begins today, and dancers are preparing to step on stage for the first live performance of the year.
Elon junior Lilly Beaver has been dancing since she was two years old. She performed in the Fall Dance Concert last year, but this year, Beaver said she is taking on a bigger role — dancing and choreographing.
She said she likes the Department of Performing Arts because of the many performance opportunities.
“I think there's a lot of opportunities to collaborate with peers and faculty, which I think is really unique,” Beaver said. “They give us a lot of autonomy and freedom of expression to really be our true authentic selves and be able to choreograph and dance, which I think is really unique to the program.”
Beaver said having a short timeframe to prepare the dances has been challenging. But she said the dancers have been working hard and are ready.
Beaver said she stays passionate by finding a way to connect to a piece.
“I think it's so important to find something that resonates with you within each piece,” Beaver said. “The piece that I choreographed is very personal to my personal story. And the same thing with a lot of the choreographers. And so just finding something that's really personal and being able to share that experience with them, it's really important.”
Elon junior Gabby Cataldo said she chose Elon because it felt like home. She said she is close with her classmates and has found some of her best friends.
“I found that the faculty here is so unbelievably caring, supportive, in any process or in any step of your life,” Cataldo said. “But also, it's the dancers and the ones that are around you.”
Cataldo also participated in the fall dance concert last year. She said she has grown both mentally and physically since the last concert.
She said team morale has been high because this is the first dance concert without COVID-19 protocols for the dancers or the audience.
“We're combating how to use our face again. And that the piece that I'm in is really about connecting with one another, and finally losing the mask and having that freedom to look at somebody else's face. And connection is so important,” Cataldo said.
The concert runs today through Saturday, Nov. 12 with four performances in total. It is held at the Roberts Studio Theatre in Arts West. Tickets are free for students, faculty and staff and $15 for the general public.