Good Afternoon Rioters!
Today I wanted to touch on something a little closer to home for many of the Randolph family here in Lynchburg: The Annual Spring Dance Concert.
Being once an all women’s college, the Randolph Dance Department (being the small community that it already is) has always had a limited number of male dancers since the school made the decision to go co-ed. Upon attending my first dance class here at Randolph I was surprised to find a total of four male dancers, three of whom were confirmed Dance Majors. I suppose this introduction to the dance world spoiled my expectations because as the years progressed, the amount of male dancers inevitably dwindled as each one graduated. By the fall semester of my senior year, we were left with one male dancer, a newly procured freshman.
This fact made me rather anxious about what it meant for our bi-annual recitals. From various semesters spent watching dance pieces, analyzing, memorizing, and being inspired by choreography throughout the past ages of dance, it had seemed apparent to both me and the rest of the department that men were a necessity in order for a choreographed piece to reach its potential, if it hoped to include lifts, assisted jumps, and anything else that required weight lifting and carrying of a body.
The spring semester proved even more worrisome due to our one and only male dancer transferring to a different college. The department was left man-less, and while our fall concert saw our reliance on his presence in most of the pieces, this year, we had to make do with ourselves, a body of women.
While this posed a daunting feat as many pieces this year required lifts, assisted jumps, and suspended weight and bodies in the air, I am more than proud to say: we dominated!
Yes, ladies and gentlemen (if you weren’t witness on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday evening), we jumped, cradled, dragged, caught, carried and finally, lifted ourselves. There was even a human staircase on which a dancer had to ascend until she was off stage, and might I add that we did all of this with the utmost passion, elegance, and technique that a dancer can have. It made me happy to think that we can carry ourselves and don’t need to rely on a male as most traditional ballets do in order to accomplish beauty, height, and suspension in dance. We are physical proof that women are able to do just as much as men can do, and that is wonderfully exciting.