AU in Motion rocks Greenberg

AU IN MOTION Nov. 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m. Greenberg Theatre $7 ($1 of each ticket goes to Kid Power DC)

For five years, AU in Motion has rocked fans with semi-annual performances that showcase raw talent, hard work and dedication. The entirely student-run dance company has more than 60 members this year, some of whom have been dedicated dancers in their past and some are simply dedicated to dancing for fun. Either way, members of AU in Motion dance for the love of dancing.

Though AU in Motion has presented the AU community with some amazing performances already, many members regard this to be their break-out year.

Audiences can expect unparalleled talent and a wide variety of dances, with moves from hip-hop and Latin flavors to modern jazz and lyrical pieces.

"Expect to be entertained. If you're not entertained, we're not doing our job," said AU in Motion President Amanda Hoffman, a junior in the School of Communication.

This weekend's performance features 14 dances that are chosen by the executive board of the club, including Hoffman, Vice President Helen Sigalov, a graduate student in the School of International Service, Treasurer Guy Seemann, a senior in the School of Public Affairs, and Secretary Ramaris German, a doctoral candidate in the College of Arts and Sciences. The board looks for choreography that features strong dance moves, variety and creativity.

German said that when choosing dances, she looks for heart.

"Someone will show something they've been working so hard on all summer ... and you'll actually see the passion come alive right in front of you," she said.

From a choreographer's standpoint, a dancer need not necessarily be formally trained or an upperclassman, they only need to be dedicated. Janice Sierra, a freshman in CAS, is choreographing a modern/contemporary piece for this weekend's performance. Although Sierra has been dancing since she was three years old, she admitted being a little intimidated.

"Being younger doesn't necessarily make me less capable, it just pushes me to work harder," she said.

For Isaiah Headen, a graduate student in SOC, not having been formally trained in dance did not prove to be a significant setback. This weekend's performance will feature "I'm Talking to You," a hip-hop piece that tells a story Headen choreographed.

"I used to break dance a lot in high school, so ... I kind of just did what I feel the music was saying to me," Headen said.

Seemann is co-choreographing "I'm Talking to You" with Headen.

"It's great being one of the few guys among a crowd of girls. Not going to lie about that," Seemann said. "But I would like to see more guys come out for AU in Motion just because a lot of guys bring their own style to the group, their own freestyle. And it gives performances more attitude and adds diversity."

Members of AU in Motion are talented and very motivated individuals who have a great balance between being serious about their work and having a good time with it. They understand that everyone has a part to play to help the performance reach a new level of dance, a new level of intensity.

"Dancing isn't about one style, it's a way of life," German said. "And that's what AU in Motion is all about."

Many members spoke of how much they valued a strong turnout at their performance.

"Our performances are useful to help get our image out there, to showcase our hard work but also to get feedback on it. We've put hours into this production, and having friends show up and appreciate our hard work means a lot," said Allison Caney, a junior in CAS.

Kim Bednarski, a freshman in SIS, said, "It's very important that people come out to our performance this weekend ... because the only consolation for us dancers is the audience and their applause."

"[We] would like to get a good crowd of friends to come out. A lot of people's families come out for these performances but they're generally polite and quiet. Friends get loud, and when they scream your name it just makes the performance so much better," Headen said.

AU in Motion takes the stage this Friday and Saturday night at the Greenberg Theatre. One dollar of each ticket price goes to Kid Power DC, a group that provides free dance classes to underprivileged children in the district.

"Dance crosses boundaries, crosses political views," Hoffman said.

This is dance, yes. But ultimately, this is AU in Motion.

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