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Katarina Rothhorn
Katarina Rothhorn
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The first message I ever sent from my Northern Michigan University sanctioned email was to the editor-in-chief of the North Wind asking if there was any way I could join the staff. Classes hadn't even...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Opinion — Its okay to outgrow your college friends
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Megan PoeApril 12, 2024

Ballet, jazz, ‘risque’ to wrap semester

Junior health and fitness management major Maureen Sullivan has been dancing for 12 years, and said she’s benefited from teaching dancers of all experience levels in preparation for NMU’s upcoming spring dance concert.

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“I worked with a girl who had only taken a few dance classes in her entire life,” Sullivan said. “She is now past beginner level, and this is her first dance performance. To see the progress is super rewarding.” Dance faculty working collaboratively with student choreographers and the Marquette community will showcase the concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 26 in the Forest Roberts Theatre.

Sullivan, a dance minor, choreographer and performer, said those coming to the show can expect to see a variety of dance, including jazz, contemporary, hip-hop, ballet and belly dancing.Junior theater major and dance minor Jacob DeLong, who started dancing three years ago, choreographed and will perform a commercial jazz piece with others to a Britney Spears song.

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“It’s been a little hectic, but fun working with dancers,” he said. “They’re getting it well.” He said the piece will illustrate a story of “putting on a face.”“The dancing is a little risqué,” DeLong said.

Jill Grundstrom, program director of the dance minor and overseer of the concert, said there has been improvement in performance since just a few years ago.

“Students are getting more focused,” Grundstrom said. “The technique and their choreography are getting stronger.”

Senior theater major Alycia Heckathorn, the first NMU student to graduate with a dance minor this May, will perform her senior capstone project, “An American in Paris,” which was also performed Friday, Feb. 7 and Saturday, Feb. 8.

Student choreographers had a wider variety of dancers to choose from this year because of the dance minor, now two years old, which recently received approval of proposed changes to its curriculum, Grundstrom said

The Committee of Undergraduate Programming (CUP) approved the dance minor’s proposal in February 2014, which will place a greater focus on the three pillars of technical dance (ballet, jazz and contemporary), include updated elective options and emphasize post-collegiate employment skills. A new layout for the minor will arrive in the next 2014-15 bulletin, Grundstrom said.

“We want to help students to break out the mold of usual movements and expose their brains to something else,” Grundstrom said.

New classes coming Fall 2014 will include a dance management course and an improvisational class, Grundstrom said.

Sullivan said the main point of dancing is not to be the best, but to learn and have fun.

“The dance minor is not as scary as it seems,” Sullivan said. “It’s different student to student, but for me, it’s more a fun stress reliever.”

DeLong said coming to the concert will give students a break during finals week and a chance to see something different.

“The talent in Marquette is amazing,” he said.

Tickets can be purchased for $5 for the general public and $3 for students at the Forest Roberts Theatre, student bookstore, Dome, or www.tickets.nmu.edu

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