By Derby Chukwudi
March 30th through April 1st, marked the 20th Anniversary of Kinetic Expressions on campus. Every year, the Dance Department puts together a performance to entertain the campus and its community members. These dances reflect different emotions and theme.
Ashley Mathis ’16 says, “Auditions for Kinetic Expressions begins in November for choreographers, and dance auditions usually start following the return of Thanksgiving break. Starting in January, dancers and their choreographers start creating the movements which complement not only the dancers but speaks to the vision of the choreographer. Personally, as a dancer and choreographer, this is the event I look most forward to at Berea College every year. With no serious prior dance experience, the Berea College dance programs have transformed me into the dancer I always wanted to be. At Kinetic Expressions, there is so much life, and passion spilled onto the stage that it is amazing to witness how much each has overcome over the course of the semester and to see their growth.”
“Leading up to the show I was pretty nervous,” said Kirsten Davis ’17. “Like any artist and choreographer who puts their creation up for everyone to see, I wondered what others would think about it. Would they understand the context? Would our piece look good on stage? These worries turned out to be unfounded. Overall, my experience with Kinetic this year was fantastic! With all the time and rehearsals that were put into creating that production, I developed a closer relationship with my friends and had so much fun. Dancing is a lot of work, but it is something that I am truly passionate about doing. Having the ability to move and express myself through my body gives me so much joy, and I plan to continue my love for dance after Berea.”
Kiona Davis ’17 expressed her excitement by saying, “Kinetic Expressions has brought much joy to my hectic life as a nursing major at Berea. I enjoyed every minute of the practices and performances. Dancing has been some of my happiest moments at Berea. Being surrounded by others who share the same passion for dancing has added to the great experience. I will certainly miss my dancing days at Berea College, but it doesn’t have to end here.”
Ryan Rutter ’17 mentioned that “the concert takes months of preparation with rehearsals, costuming, lights, sound, and relying on all of your dancers to be present. Although it’s all over in three days, it’s the best three days of the semester because everyone has worked so hard to be there and perform. Backstage, you can feel the energy that’s being portrayed on stage because your heart is pounding knowing you’re about to do the same thing; and that is one of the most beautiful feelings in the world. It truly has been an honor to have worked with so many amazingly talented people, and I’m already looking forward to seeing next year’s show!”
According to Da’Shana Lockhart ’18, “It was an honor to be able to participate in the 20th anniversary of Kinetic Expressions. This year’s show was my third year participating in the event, and it was just as fulfilling as the first time. The months and weeks leading up to Kinetic were nothing short of organized chaos. Being that I was also a part of two dance groups, I felt like I was always in the dance studio. For all those hours of effort in practice, the actual performances seem to go by so quickly. Before you know it you’ve danced your dances for the last time. Afterward, you are thrust back into your academic responsibilities, and you immediately miss the countless hours, bruises, and kinship formed between dancers. I can’t wait to enjoy the whirlwind of dancing again next year!”
Anna Reich ’18 said, “Kinetic Expressions is one of the most unique, fun and fulfilling things I have participated in during my time at Berea. Kinetic Expressions has allowed me to express myself in ways I have never imagined before. I have expanded beyond my comfort zone by learning new techniques and styles of dance, and I have been challenged to become a better dancer throughout the process.
All the dancers are so encouraging and loving, and we become one great big family by the end of the process. A lot of work goes into Kinetics, and it isn’t always the sun shines and rainbows. There is a lot of hard work, sweat, and bruises that go into making the dances but it is such an amazing feeling to see all that hard work pay off during the final show. Kinetic Expressions will always have a special place in my heart, and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything!”
After a phenomenal show, the Berea community looks forward to what the dance department has to present to us next year.