By Lysa Legros
Synergy Dance Company, a student-run dance organization at the College, held their spring recital, Spring Spectacular, on Saturday, April 23 in Kendall Hall.
Synergy is different from many other dance clubs on campus because its programs are entirely developed by its members.
“Synergy is a dance company run by students and student choreographed,” said Emma Duffy, a sophomore English and secondary education major. “It’s flexible and fun, and what makes it unique is that it’s all choreographed, organized, and catered to students — our schedules, and our abilities.”
Synergy members take on the challenge of managing their organization because they are passionate about dance.
“We’re taking on those responsibilities because we want to,” said senior applied mathematics major and Synergy president Megan Kubinski. “We put a lot of time and energy into it. We’re in charge of our own music and own programming.”
Synergy’s Spring Spectacular marks the company’s last show of the semester and their first recital since last year.
“This is the first year since last year that we’re able to have a dance recital,” Duffy said. “We had a recital last year, but it was outside on a small stage. This is our first time since then that we’re back under the lights of Kendall Hall — it’s like we’re coming back to normal again.”
The company looked forward to this opportunity to cement their return to normal and celebrate their experiences.
“It’s going to be my last show,” said Kubinski before the recital. “I’m excited to see my parents see me dance on-person and go back on stage.”
Synergy members were ecstatic about their return to the stage. For many of them, this was their first formal recital since they were in high school.
“We can get very emotional about it because it brings you back to when you’re on the stage in high school, and you feel like there’s no one out there, and it’s just you and the music, being able to do something you love, after so long, it’s great,” Duffy said.
The company performed a variety of dances — including solos and group performances — and showcased a wide range of genres.
“The three seniors all have solos, and the rest have group performances that range from tap to jazz to contemporary dance,” Duffy said. “There’s even a hip-hop performance. Anything you can think of because we all have such different backgrounds from all over the state, and we give each other opportunities to experiment with new ways of moving.”
The dancers performed 18 songs in total, with a 10-minute intermission.
The show opened up with a fun and upbeat performance that was choreographed by the three dance captains: junior psychology and early childhood major Alexa Lombardi, sophomore English and secondary education major Celeste Maneiro and sophomore communications major Victoria Davino. This number was followed by Kubinski’s sentimental senior solo, “Forever and Always.”
“While performing, I was at first very nervous, but it quickly turned into excitement,” Kubinksi said. “This was my last showcase ever, so I was trying to just live in every moment and enjoy it.”
Desperado, a powerful hip-hop dance choreographed by English and secondary education Celeste Maneiro, followed Kubinski’s solo.
Afterwards was the fun '70s-themed “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” choreographed by freshman psychology major Sabrina Sims and inspired by Bob the Drag Queen’s performance on season Eight of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
The first part of the recital showcased a variety of themes ranging from the heartbreak expressed in “Traitor” choreographed by Victoria Davino, the nostalgia of art education major Megan Ziegal’s senior solo “Last Dance” and romance in “An Evening I Will Not Forget” choreographed by Lombardi.
Synergy closed the first part of their show with two energetic performances: “Radar,” performed and choreographed by the three dance captains, and “Grown Woman,” an ensemble piece, choreographed by sophomore special elementary education and ISTEM double major Grace McCool.
The jazzy and upbeat “Homecoming Dance” kicked off the second part of the show. This dance showcased the unity of the entire group while giving each grade their own stand-out moments.
“Call Me Mother,” an electronic pop dance choreographed by senior English major Patrick Chan, kept the energy high.
Like the first part of the show, the second part also showcased an array of genres and emotions, ranging from the glee of dances like the tap dance “Know What I Know” to the wistfulness of the contemporary dance “Forgive Myself” to the somber contemporary dance “Strange.”
“Too Darn Hot,” a lively adaptation of the song name from the Broadway production “Kiss Me Kate” was choreographed by Duffy and sophomore English major Natalie Ciarricco.
“I was looking forward to ‘Too Darn Hot,’” Kubinski said. “ I really like musical theater, and there’s a lot of cool lighting.”
“Change is Everything” was an emotionally contemporary dance piece choreographed by Jonna Alberta, a junior visual arts and business management double major. The dance showcased the struggles of persevering through an impossible situation.
The dance sparked applause from the audience as the performers lifted each other up, and shock as screams erupted from the dancers towards the end of the piece.
Kubinski, Ziegal and Chan performed the senior dance: the final performance of the recital.
“I was excited to see the senior’s final dance, the last number of the show,” Duffy said. “They’re people we’ve only known for two years, but we’re really sad to see them go.”
Although group-practice opportunities were limited, Synergy did the best they could with the time they had.
“As a choreographer, we were limited to five or so practices over the course of the semester, and only having an hour or so with the girls, a lot of preparation outside the club,” Alberta said. “This semester we never had to meet over Zoom. Last year was very difficult, so being able to be in person, even if the rooms were small, it was better than being over Zoom.”
But the difficulties they faced paled in comparison to those of the year before, when their members were off-campus and met over Zoom. Just as they did last year, Synergy continued to persevere.
“Synergy taught me a lot,” Alberta said. “We had to do a lot of problem-solving, we were all so desperate to dance, and a lot of us were competitive dancers, so getting to college was heartbreaking. We found a studio off-campus and we paid for studio space, and really enjoy our time there. I learned to problem-solve, trust the process, and have patience.”
Despite the many challenges they faced and competing priorities they held, Synergy made an effort to come together and create a truly spectacular showcase.
“None of this would be possible if it weren’t for everyone’s individual passion for dance and collective drive to work as a team,” Kubinski said. “No one is forced to put in any work or show up to practice every week, but they do because they are dedicated to this team and their craft.”