Summer Spotlight introduces world of dance

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The spotlight is on dance at Troy University this week as the Summer Spotlight camps get underway and will continue through July 27.

The Spotlight on Dance Camp, for ages eight through 12, is an experiment in dance for the 17 young campers who are participating, said Tori Lee Averett, camp director.

Tate Gardner works on her drawing of herself in a new dance position. The Creative Drama Camp will be July 14-19 and the Performance Intensive and Tech Theater Intensive camps will be July 21-27.

Tate Gardner works on a drawing of herself in a new dance position at a spotlight on dance camp at Troy University.

“At Spotlight on Dance Camp, we introduce the campers to the world of dance,” Averett said. “They learn different forms of dance, from modern, to musical to jazz and hip-hop. Hip-hop is foreign to most of the campers but we want to introduce them to a tiny corner of it.”

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Averett said the campers learn dance terminology, about choreography and have many opportunities to experiment with body movement in a fun way.

On Tuesday, the campers were on the dance floor but not in the traditional way.

Each camper was asked to create a dance position and transfer that position onto paper in the form of a silhouette. They were each given a life-size piece of drawing paper and asked to “put” that dance position on paper.

As each camper transferred the standing position to the paper on the floor, another traced around her.

“Just like in theater, designing and building are part of dance,” Averett said. “As part of dance, we create scenery and costumes and that’s what this is all about. The silhouettes the campers create are filled in with information about themselves — their families, things they like to do, places they like to go. It’s a different way to express themselves.”

Julie Mulvihill, Spotlight on Dance special guest artist, said Spotlight on Dance exposes campers to different styles of dance and it also opens the way to different forms of expression.

“Dance is expressive; it’s explorative; it’s cute and it’s an opportunity to perform,” Mulvihill said. “It’s about movement and rhythm and it’s character driven. It’s about learning and it’s about having fun.”

Each day the campers are treated to a Dance Invasion. A local dancer performs for the campers as a way of exposure to the different forms of dance.

The dancers give the campers insight into their “special” forms of dance and the commitment they make to their art, including practice, exercise and nutrition.

The Spotlight on Dance Camp will conclude at noon on Friday with a performance for the parents.

“It’s not going to be a big show,” Averett said. “We just want the campers to have an opportunity to show their parents what they have learned and created on their own. It will be a lot of fun for them and enjoyable for their parents. We are looking forward to the show.”