Shining performance from Department of Theatre and Dance


Abby Buckner, Associate A&C Editor

The Department of Theatre and Dance annual Spring Appalachian Dance Ensemble shined on stage, March 29 to April 2, for their opening performance at the Valborg Theatre. The collaboration between faculty and students fostered a diverse show featuring movement, storytelling and live music.

A cast of over 40 student dancers took the spotlight, performing eight different pieces in varying group sizes on stage. The choreographers and artists behind the movement included dance studies faculty members Marianne Adams and Regina Gulick, as well as a piece from the coordinator of SADE Susan Lutz. Four student choreographers, Audrey Black, Anissa Gatland, Imajin Graham, and Lyndsay Snider, were also chosen to craft their own unique movement.

Each piece presented its own personal narrative, style and ideas. From the meaning of a single word, to the rituals of native women, to an African piece with live music, SADE showcased artistic diversity that invited the audience to share and experience their art and passion.

“You could tell in every piece they were just having so much fun,” junior English literature major Margret Talton said. “All the dances were so creative, it’s always striking when you can tell a dancer is having fun out there.”

The hard work from both dancers and choreographers beamed and glowed throughout the Valborg, impressing audience member Haley Smart, a sophomore public relations major.

“I loved the show, I always come to the seasonal dance concerts,” Smart said. “I really liked the African piece, their colorful pants and costumes tied everything together and kept them connected.”

SADE includes students of all different dance backgrounds and experiences casting freshman students to seasoned senior dancers and even one App State dance alum, creating a sense of community for everyone involved.

“My favorite part of SADE this year was working with freshies and acting as a mentor for them,” Mack Marrow, senior exercise science major with a dance minor said. “I liked helping them navigate the experience with some tricks of the trade.”

The seasonal concert has grown to be near and dear to the dancers’ hearts as an annual opportunity to flourish in their art and passion while growing closer to their peers.

“We have a ritual at the end of warm-up where we honor the seniors,” Marrow said. “It was a surreal moment for me to be surrounded by so much love and friendship for my last show here.”