By: Danielle Sheahan, Features Writer
Stressed out by homework and internship/job hunting this semester? Come see Beauty and the Beast, a student performance directed and choreographed by students for students – and other interested individuals. The Missouri S&T Ballet and Dance Club is excited to tell the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast through the art of dance. In their production, expect to see the development of your favorite characters by talented Missouri S&T students, who have been practicing a minimum of three times a week, every week since September of 2017. They have put a lot of effort and passion into this show and want to share their hard work and success with their peers and the Rolla community.
Sarah Morris is this season’s president of the Missouri S&T Ballet and Dance Club and Melanie Moore is the vice president. These amazingly talented Missouri S&T students sat with me, cross-legged in a circle after practice and told me about the club and why they love this particular production so much. Organizationally, the president of the club acts as the director of the whole shebang and the vice president acts as the assistant director. Sarah, the director, oversees making final decisions, delegating and much more. While Melanie, the assistant director is responsible for anything the director needs in order to make her vision a reality. Sara and Melanie explained the club is completely student ran, starting with getting the Broadway musical music compiled by KMNR students, having two head choreographers – Sara Johnson and Hannah Vietor – and two volunteer choreographers, and even the lights for the show were designed and ran by the Leach Theater student workers. The ensemble, which is also compiled of students, is broken up in three tiers, beginners chorus, intermediate chorus and advanced chorus. These tiers are representations of a dancer’s skill level. Typically, beginners are zero to one year of experience, intermediate is a few years of experience and advanced is made of up of dancers who have danced practically their whole lives.
Sarah and Melanie went on to explain why they love this season’s production, Beauty and the Beast. They both agreed that the soundtrack is amazing this year and it will leave you happily singing along. Moreover, Sarah and Melanie have been able to watch dancers start from learning the steps to seeing characters coming alive through dance the past few months, which I imagine is very fulfilling for them. Along with the characters coming alive, they have been exhilarated to watch people bringing their own personality to the characters and adding their own personal flair to it. It is person’s personality that shines through in dances like this that makes it so much fun. Ultimately, you will be left smiling, laughing and joyfully remincient afterwards because it is afterall a story most everyone knew as a child. The amazing thing about the productions and the club itself is being able to see STEM kids get together and do something that they truly enjoy and is not STEM related. This provides a stress-free team building environment that is not competitive, which is to my certainty a norm at Missouri S&T. It has been a great stress reliever for the dancers and the crew alike, but most of all it will be a stress-free time for the audience too. So, come, enter the world of Beauty and the Beast with us! I mean, is it possible to be sad after being transported inside a Disney story?
Missouri S&T Ballet and Dance Club will be showing Disney’s Beauty and the Beast – Tale as Old as Time – at Leach Theater, on Friday, February 9th at 7pm; Saturday, February 10th at 7pm; Sunday, February 11th at 2pm. Tickets are on sale now at Havener and will also be on sale at the door, the night of the show. They are five dollars for students, seven dollars for children and nine dollars for adults.