YSU Dance Ensemble marks 25th Anniversary April 14, 15, 16

Among the students performing in the YSU Dance Ensemble are, back row standing, Erica Mitchell, Christina Fonner and Rachel Davis; and front row:Jillian Billeck, Alana Lesnansky and Hailey Gelzheiser.

Among the students performing in the YSU Dance Ensemble are, back row standing, Erica Mitchell, Christina Fonner and Rachel Davis; and front row:Jillian Billeck, Alana Lesnansky and Hailey Gelzheiser.

The Youngstown State University Department of Theater and Dance presents the 25th Anniversary Performance of the YSU Dance Ensemble Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 14, 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. in Bliss Hall’s Ford Theater on the YSU campus.

“I am very proud of our students’ hard work, both as dancers and choreographers, and I am so excited about having alumni return to interface with our current students,” said Christine Cobb, professor Theater and Dance. “It is truly a celebration of the legacy left by those who came before, those who carry on and those who will carry on the Dance Ensemble tradition in the years to come.”

Adult tickets are $16 (includes $2 convenience fee). Special rate tickets are: $8 (includes $2 convenience fee) for non-YSU students, YSU faculty and staff with valid ID, senior citizens, Penguin Club members and groups of eight (8) or more. YSU student tickets are free with valid ID.

The concert features the works of 12 student choreographers and YSU alumna Stephanie Tirdel. The dances are diverse in subject manner and feature musical theater, tap, hip hop, belly dance and modern dance genres.

Tirdel’s piece explores the human condition and draws upon inspiration and images from the military. She is a certified Pilates and AntiGravity instructor and owner of STHIEL PILATES in Pittsburgh. She previously taught, choreographed and performed professionally with LABCO DANCE and Dance Alloy Theater, both of Pittsburgh. Tirdel’s formal dance education began at Ballet Western Reserve, Kent State University and then YSU, where she performed with the YSU Dance Ensemble. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from YSU.

Cobb conceived a piece that will be performed on Saturday, April 16 to close the show featuring YSU Dance Ensemble students and YSU Dance Ensemble alumni who are returning to perform for this 25th anniversary event.

An additional performance, titled 60×60, will occur on Saturday, April 16 at 2 p.m. in Ford Theater. That performance is free and open to the public.

YSU alumni and YSU students will perform, in association with the New York-based arts organization Vox Novus, a concert featuring 60 one-minute dance works set to award-winning music presented back-to-back without pause. This unique event includes a new dance piece every minute. 60×60 Dance represents a diverse cross-section of music and dance with different styles and aesthetics ranging from fun and popular to serious and poignant to quite the abstract.

“Audience members are virtually guaranteed to love some of the pieces, and dislike others,” Cobb said. “Regardless of whether they like or dislike a work, in 60 seconds they will experience a new piece.”

The YSU Dance Ensemble accepts members via an audition process, and members practice weekly, honing their performance skills as well as their leadership skills. Department of Theater and Dance professional staff includes Lighting Designer, Ellen E. Jones; Production Manager, Todd Dicken; Costume Designer, Katherine Garlick; and Costume Shop Supervisor, Rebel Mickelson.

Parking is available in the Wick Avenue deck for a nominal fee. For more information, call 330-941-2307.

YSU students performing include: Alana Lesnansky, Senior, Biology, Boardman, OH; Angelique Tanner, Sophomore, Musical Theater, Waverly, OH; Aubrianna Morrison, Freshman, Spanish & English, Hermitage, PA; Jillian Billeck, second year Graduate Student, Biology, Girard, OH; Kassady Carrier, Junior, Combined Science, Amherst, OH; Rebecca VanVoorhis, Senior, Education, Canton, OH; Olivia Bartie, Senior, Fashion & Dance, West Port, CT; Lily Hockenberry, Sophomore, IT (Dance Minor), Boardman, OH; Krista Colarosa, Junior, Dance Management, Pittsburgh, PA; Taryn Kerfoot, Senior, Dance Management & Exercise Science, Enon Valley, PA; Naudya Bankston, Junior, Dental Hygiene, Austintown, OH; Stefon Funderburke, Junior, Musical Theater, Hermitage, PA; Stephanie Schornack, Sophomore, Radiology, Austintown, OH; Alyssa Armstrong, Freshman, Biology, Canfield, OH; Erica Mitchell, Junior, BA in Theater Studies, Youngstown, OH; Sarah Gage, Freshman, BA in Theater Studies, Struthers, OH; Roman Sheffield-Scheetz, Freshman, Dance Management, Canfield, OH; Kirstie Feorene, Junior, Electrical Engineering, Mineral Ridge, OH; Christina Fonner, Senior, Early Childhood Education, East Liverpool, OH; Hailey Gelzheiser, Freshman, Dance Management, Moon Township, Pa. , PA; Bailey Mackey, Sophomore, Dance Management, New Philadelphia, OH; Holly Vavlas, Senior, Psychology, Campbell, OH; Rachel Davis, Junior, English, Austintown, OH; Shannon Peterson, Sophomore, Dance Management, Clarion, PA; Kiara Jones, Junior, Dance, Youngstown, OH; Savannah Lach, Junior, Dance Management, Elizabeth, PA; Jessica Hirsh, Sophomore, BFA Musical Theater, Cleveland, OH; Nicolette Pizzuto, Junior, Journalism, New Middletown, OH; Rachel Schmidt, Junior, BA Dance Management, Youngstown, OH; Alyssa Sikora, Senior, BSA Hospitality Management, Masury, OH, and Anne Sopher, Freshman, Spanish, Hermitage, PA.