So You Think You Can Choreograph

Many audition; few are chosen.

By Jazmine Sanchez, Staff Writer

The Valley College Dance Department is preparing to showcase what dance students have learned throughout the semester through pieces choreographed by the instructors as well as showcasing student choreography that was chosen by auditions.
Every fall semester, the instructors work with their students to produce a show that samples a variety of styles that the dance classes offer. Along with this, they offer the opportunity for students at Valley to debut a piece choreographed by themselves. Auditions for the chance to be able to have their piece in the show took place on November 24th and in order to be chosen, students had to audition a piece that was no longer than four minutes. All aspiring choreographers were invited to reveal most of the skeleton to their piece to either director, Wright or Liz Casebolt.
“There are often students who create their own work, and we wanted to provide an opportunity for them to showcase these dances,” says co-director Geordie Wright, “The faculty observes and gives feedback on the choreography so that it is a learning experiences for the students.
The list of those chosen to perform their choreography was officially put up the nest morning on November 25th. Those chosen were: Brandon Mills, Emily Cavalluzi, Noelle Andressen-Kale, Suzy Hagopian, Natasha Lopez, Jaz Smith, Aaron Torres, and Harris Winters.
Twenty three-year-old graphic design major Aaron Torres will be sharing the stage with one of his dancers: kinesiology major Juli-Ann Giron. He will be introducing a modern piece titled “Oceans,” which deals with losing and finding yourself in this world. With dance being his passion, he made it a goal to audition his piece; he felt that it would be a great way to grow and challenge all sorts of dancers.
”Oceans is the name of my dance and it’s an analogy of finding and losing yourself in life just like the ocean finds shore after shore,” Torres said. “It’s a beautiful endeavor.”
Another student chosen was 22-year-old psychology major Harris Winters. He originally auditioned last fall but did not get the chance to introduce his work which only pushed him to create a piece where he would prove to not only himself but the audience watching that besides being able to dance to any song, he could actually choreograph a piece from beginning to finish. Dealing with so much self-doubt, Winters finally accomplished his goal and made it. His piece “Quiet the Dancers Mind” is a modern piece about dealing with the voices in our inner mind that tell us “we did great” or the insanity of our thoughts that we experience every day.
“When one actually watches it, it is up to them to make up what they believe it is”, Winters said. “My piece can be interpreted in many ways!”
The show will debut a variety of dances and some unique pieces including that of 25-year-old kinesiology major Suzy Hagopian who offers a piece inspired by a spin-off of the animated series “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and 20-year-old theater major Natasha Lopez whose bone-chilling choreography is inspired by the hit TV-show “American Horror Story: Freak Show.”

The Fall Dance Show will take place at the main gymnasium in the North Gym on Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m. Admission will be $7 at the door. Free parking in the structure will be offered; no permit required.
For more information about the show and the department, contact either dance director at or or visit the dance department’s Facebook page: Los Angeles Valley College Dance Program.


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