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BYU Idaho Dance Alliance brings unique program to Millersville this week

  • Scott LaMar
Performance in Cody Wyoming.

Performance in Cody Wyoming.

Airdate: Wednesday, July 26, 2023

At its best, art makes one think or touches the touches the emotions. Some art uplifts and brings joy.

That’s the stated goal of the Brigham Young University Idaho Dance Alliance, which will be perform Friday night at Millersville University in a show called Look Up.

Thirty-five student dancers, including six who just graduated last week, will be part of the performance.

Ashley Storm, Director of BYU Idaho Dance Alliance talked about makes the program unique on The Spark Wednesday,”We try to offer all the genres that we can fit in into the major. And so this company will have ballet, it will have hip hop, jazz, several world pieces. We have some representing Ukraine, some from Taiwan. We just we try to have a good mixture for the audiences as well as the experience for our students.”

Storm talked about how the theme of the show came together,”I actually read one of my student’s papers (where we asked) What does it mean to be a 21st century artist and dancer and just talk about hardships that are unique to this generation. And so that prompted this idea for this show of just hope and hold on. And it is hard right now. But but I think there are better times coming and that we can help each other through these times. So I asked each of the dancers if they would be willing to write some of the hard things that they have had to go through or that they struggle with, as well as how they get through those and how they manage those times. And many of them were willing and then we took them into the recording studio and actually recorded their own voices. I wanted this to be very representative of this generation and of this group and of these wonderful humans that go through hard things, but also find the light in those times as well.”

Tyler Carlson is one of the dancers who told a story,” I shared with our director, Ashley, about one of those times in particular where my family was very sick and I was actually on the tour team. And how as a team, we worked together and even though it’s hard, if we can just look up from looking at the ground all the time and just be able to have that chin up like, like we say, then we can push forward. We can have that hope that things are going to work out. And I share that with Ashley. And some of the pieces that’s performed convey kind of that message of we all have an internal struggle that we each fight for ourselves that we are trying to overcome.”

Tour Manger Brett Sampson said,”What’s really meaningful too is recognizing these are amazingly talented performers that are also individuals. You see them just working in unity. All those bodies moving beautifully across the stage. But then each one of them, as I’ve gotten to know them a little bit, too, are individuals with those individual struggles. And so I start to look for those moments of looking up and the personality that shows through, even though they may all be dressed alike and dancing alike.”

Proceeds benefit Church World Service in Lancaster.

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