ETSU’s Division of Theater and Dance hosted its annual Dance Showcase where undergraduates in the program had the opportunity to show off their talent at the Bud Frank Theater over the weekend.

The students who participated in the showcase included: Whitney Bates, Savannah Bowne, Abby Cate, Camille Clark, Devorah Daught, Trenton Fines, Ali Gibson, Zoe Hester, Taylor Hutchison, Reagan James, Morgan Labelle, Jacob Mencini, Nifemi Moronkeji, Drake Parrott, Kelsea Nickels, Courtney Spencer, Jensyn Teague and Jessica Vest.

The first act consisted of seven aerial pieces in which dancers used straps, silks, Lyra and trapeze to suspend themselves into the air.

The act opened with an aerial piece titled “Letting Go,” which was choreographed and performed by adjunct faculty Michael Maughon and student Jessica Vest.

The first act also included two solo performances with one by Jen Kintner and another by Jacob Mencini.

The second act featured seven traditional style dances such as contemporary and jazz. Those dances were performed on the ground. A contemporary jazz piece called, “Growing Up Appalachia,” opened this act. The dance was choreographed by Annalee Tull and performed by Savannah Bowne, Camille Clark, Suzanne Clemons, Morgan Labelle and Jensyn Teague.

Teague is a sophomore majoring in nursing with a minor in dance. This was her first time participating in a dance showcase at ETSU and she described the experience as phenomenal.

“The dance community at ETSU is just so creative, encouraging and hardworking. It’s been an honor to be a part of,” she said. “All of the choreographers are intriguing in the way they can have a vision in their minds and they have a process for how they can translate those deep stories into movement.”

The dance “Growing Up Appalachia,” is just one example of an idea becoming reality on the stage.

“The piece is about a little girl growing up in Appalachia,” Teague said. “At the beginning of the dance she is happy and playful. As she grows up, she realizes that everything is not so great anymore. She starts to become aware that these big companies have come in and there are greater problems in Appalachia such as deforestation and poverty.”

Other dances in the showcase included deep, moving themes such as drug abuse, relationships, war and more. “Turning Away,” a dance featured in the second act, asked the audience to pay attention to those in need such as the refugees.

For Teague, finally getting to perform was the most rewarding part.

“We were constantly practicing, paying attention to detail, receiving notes from other dancers and just doing everything we possibly could to perfect the dance,” she said. “There is nothing that compares to the rush we feel on stage.”