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Three Grossmont College dance students named finalists in Young Choreographers Showcase

Posted on: Feb 26, 2018 1:00:00 AM
In: Grossmont, District
Arts and Culture, Awards, Academics, Campus Life
Contact: Lorena Ruggero, lorena.ruggero@gcccd.edu, 619-644-7840

Three of the top ten finalists in the San Diego Dance Theater's Young Choreographers Showcase are Grossmont College dance students, and the only community college students selected.

"All three dance majors chosen as finalists exhibited tremendous growth, both as dancers as well as choreographers within the past two years," said Kathy Meyer, chair of the Dance Department. "It was such a wonderful surprise to find out that all three students had been accepted into this prestigious competition."

The three students, Hannah Pritchett, Carlos Sierra and Stephanie Vasquez, submitted videos of their choreography from the fall 2017 Grossmont College student-choreographed dance concert to the blind panel of judges who unknowingly selected three students from the same program. Initially, the young choreographers each experienced stress, fear and nervousness until they learned about each other's selection in a group text where they asked one another to perform in their pieces.

"It was scary when I received the congratulations email," Sierra said. "But knowing that your fellow dance choreographers have also been selected, I don't think it's as scary as if I had been doing it alone. It helped me ease into it because I didn't feel like I had to do this by myself."

While the students are excited to be chosen, they do not see one another as competitors.

"I'm really glad that I have not just other choreographers from Grossmont, but friends that are also in the showcase," Pritchett said. "If one of us wins, we all win."

Instead, the students are looking forward to sharing their work with the local dance community and earning recognition for the Grossmont College Dance Department. Each student has honed their creativity and choreography under the tutelage of Meyer, who teaches two levels of choreography courses within the department curriculum.

"People don't realize what an asset Kathy is," Vasquez said. "Her choreography class taught me so much. My process is leaps and bounds above what it used to be."

Each student has choreographed a modern dance, and their pieces vary in theme. Pritchett's piece, "the difference between what was and what is," is an exploration of the past and how it haunts the present. Sierra's "Triptych Motif" focuses on the transitions of a woman's life, highlighting strength, power and happiness. Vasquez's "Enigmatic" is an avant-garde piece that she hopes will provoke the audience.

Additionally, Sierra is dancing in Pritchett's piece and Pritchett is dancing in all three pieces.

"We are so proud and excited to support our talented student choreographers and hope that others in the dance community will also recognize the accomplished dancers that are graduating from Grossmont College, and continuing to pursue their careers in dance," Meyer said.

The Young Choreographers Showcase and Prize 2018 performances take place at 5 and 8 p.m., Saturday, March 3, at White Box Live Arts at 2590 Truxtun Road, #205, in San Diego.

The students follow in the footsteps of Grossmont College dance student Aisha Reddick, who participated in the 2016 Young Choreographers Showcase. Reddick is currently in her third year at Grossmont College and currently auditioning for local dance companies. During that showcase, Pritchett performed in Reddick's piece and was recognized as Best Individual Dancer.

The Grossmont College Dance Department offers courses in dance technique, performance, body modalities and dance appreciation, all of which are designed for the dance student, the liberal arts student and others seeking personal enrichment. Course offerings include four levels of ballet, jazz, modern, hip hop, Pilates and tap, as well as dance appreciation, dance history, musical theater dance, choreography and improvisation I and II, ballet pointe, dance theater production and a new touring dance company course. To learn more about the department, visit Grossmont.edu/dance or call 619-644-7766.

Grossmont College is at 8800 Grossmont College Drive. For more information, go to www.grossmont.edu.

Hannah Pritchett dancing

Hannah Pritchett

Carlos Sierra (right) dancing with partner

Carlos Sierra (right)

Aisha Reddick (left) and Stephanie Vasquez (center, kneeling) dancing

Aisha Reddick (kneeling) and Stephanie Vasquez (center)

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