Ashland University Dance Company: Strength, technique, passion and confidence

Rachel Ramsey

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A new club is ready to put on their dancing shoes and hit the floor.

The Ashland University Dance Company started this spring semester that allows dancers to express themselves through various styles of dance.

Co-founder of AUDC, Schuyler Berger, has been dancing for 18 years and wanted to continue her passion for dance in college.

Once she decided that traveling to Columbus to dance was enough, she teamed up with her best friend and co-founder Sabrina Maristela.

“It is very hard as a dancer to be in a place with no opportunity to continue pursuing your passion,” Berger said. “We wanted to provide that opportunity for other dancers on campus that felt as deprived of their passion as we did.”

The company provides different styles including ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, lyrical and contemporary that are held in a “serious” and “encouraging” environment, according to Berger.

Auditions were also held not to cut potential members, but to help place them in categories where they can grow and dance with others from the same dance background.

“We split each style into beginner and advanced groups,” Berger said. “We wanted to ensure that everyone was placed in an environment that would be most conducive to their growth.

After the audition process, 20 to 25 people were chosen for the company. The process wasn’t easy-going according to Berger.

“We wanted to give people an opportunity to feel the type of pressure that an audition produces,” Berger said. “If you are unable to handle the pressure of an audition, you will be unable to handle the pressure of a performance.”

Berger also has mandatory requirements and practices for the dancers.

“We meet for ballet on Thursday nights,” Berger said. “Beginners have class from 9:00 to 9:45 p.m. and intermediate and advanced have class together from 9:45 to 11 p.m.”

Berger says that scheduling rehearsals for other dance styles will be soon for dancers nice groups have been finalized.

Overall, the one goal for Berger is to bring something to Ashland University that can help those who feel their best when they dance.

“I hope to see our small community of dancers rediscover and nurture their love of dance and share it,” Berger said. “I hope to see our group grow in strength, technique, passion and confidence.”

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