Dance Ensemble concert features tribute to Justin Timberlake

Members of the YSU Dance Ensemble include, from the left, Lee Beitzel, Rebecca VanVoorhis and Olivia Bartie.

Members of the YSU Dance Ensemble include, from the left, Lee Beitzel, Rebecca VanVoorhis and Olivia Bartie.

The annual spring concert of the Youngstown State University Dance Ensemble opens Thursday, April 10, in Ford Theater of Bliss Hall on campus.

Performances will also be Friday and Saturday, April 11 and 12. All performances are at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10, and $5 for students, senior citizens, Penguin Club members, groups of eight or more and YSU faculty and staff. Season ticket coupons will be honored.  The concert features general admission seating, thus there will be no advance ticket sales.  Tickets may only be purchased at the door. Parking is available in the Wick Avenue deck for a nominal fee.

Under the artistic direction of Christine Cobb, a faculty member in the YSU Department of Theater and Dance, the concert showcases 26 students performing a dozen dances in a variety of genres, including modern, ballet, ballroom and hip hop.

The YSU Dance Ensemble is a sanctioned student organization that accepts members via an audition process in the fall semester. Members practice weekly and hone their performance skills as well as their leadership skills. “The students who audition and are accepted into the Ensemble put countless hours into practicing their discipline,” Cobb said. “They also learn the basics of running a student organization since they must elect officers and participate in activities. The spring concert is the culmination of their year-long efforts.”

Many of the students’ works are choreographed by students in the Dance Management major program in the YSU Department of Theater and Dance.

Two highlights of the program include a tribute to Justin Timberlake entitled JTribute, choreographed by senior and Dance Ensemble President Lee Beitzel, and a piece, Vestiges, by senior Caty Moran. Vestiges was inspired by a trip to a makeshift civil war hospital in Gettysburg, Pa.  Second Stars and Second Chances, choreographed by Joseph Alvey, is a whimsical piece inspired by Peter Pan. Guest artist, professional ballroom dancer, Alexey Kuprienko, choreographed a Latin ballroom number entitled My Girls. Other choreographers include Hayley Platt, Sara Haseley, Taryn Kerfoot, Alana Lesnansky, Rebecca VanVoorhis and Cobb.

Additional Dance Ensemble members include: Olivia Bartie, Savannah Lach, Alyssa Sikora, Krista Colarosa, Emily Shipley, Holly Vavlas, Joelle Ballone, Mira Mikan, Megan Cherol, Dawnelle Jewell,  Nicolette Pizzuto, Kiara Jones, Naudya Bankston, Cameron Beebe, Brittney Grant, Nikita Jones, Alessandra Volpe and Katie Jerome.