Students in motion

Justin San Diego

Dancers perform 12 numbers for ‘We Breathe Dance’

The lights in the half-empty theater dimmed as sound bits of Sept. 11 played in the background. Eight dancers made bold lunges and arm extensions in the dramatic opening number about struggling circumstances titles, “Is There Anything More?”

Stephanie Abbott, 22, dancer, chose this as her favorite piece of the night.

“It speaks to you because we have all been through tragedies,” Abbott said.

The dance department of San Jose City College performed 12 choreographed numbers for their dance show titled “We Breathe Dance” from Nov. 21 to 23 at the SJCC Theater.

The best routine, and the only one to feature all the dancers, was saved for last. “Big Band Finale” had all the dancers wearing different solid color shirts.

The dance steps were simple and the routine was full of joy.

Many of the numbers were full of the same emotional, spiritual and interpretative nonsense.

None of the dances were like anything one would see in a pop concert or a club.

Only contemporary, ballet, modern and jazz styles were performed. Other styles of dancing were left out including hip-hop, Latin and ballroom.

“I wish there was more hip-hop dance, but there will be next semester for sure,” said dancer Tashiana Baisy, 19, business major.

Abbott, dancer and choreographer, had one of the standout performances with her solo “Beyond Yesterday” that was danced to the music of “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion. The pain and emotion read well on Abbott’s face as she did a handstand into a cartwheel for this number.

“Stephanie’s solo was my favorite dance because I know where she’s coming from,” said Marissa Bracamonte, 21, dance major.

Another great solo number was “Untitled, Opus 1” performed and choreographed by Hannah Smith.

Smith moved around the stage on her tip toes in ballet shoes.

A tribal dance symbolizing power within oneself, a modern group dance about symptoms of insomnia, and a duo dancing to “Stay” by Rihanna helped round out the show.

Roughly 30 students danced in the show.

Ten of the 12 dances were choreographed by students who completed the choreography workshop class.

It costs students, faculty and staff $5 for admission and $10 for general admission.

Six-year dance instructor and director of the dance show, Amber McCall, said she would love to see the dance program grow and is always looking for more enrollments.

“I learned technical skills of dance and grew a bond with other dancers,” Abbott said.

The dance students seemed to build strong friendships with each other. After the show they many grouped up and had plans together.

Rating: 3 out of 5