A Semester with ND Dance Company

Author: Megan McCuen

I’ve been a member of Notre Dame Dance Company since my first semester of my freshman year. As I’ve been dancing all my life, Dance Co is one of the highlights of my time at ND. It gives me a chance to express myself, get some exercise, and take a break from studying. We work each semester to present a showcase, and this year I got to choreograph a dance in the show. What’s it like to be in the company? Take a look.


Late August- After the Activities Fair at the beginning of the year, the company hosts auditions where anyone can come and try out to be in the “Blue,” “Gold,” or “Tap” companies.


Early September- The official year kicks off with a Choreography Showcase. All the company members gather in the huge dance studio in the Rockne, and anyone interested in choreographing presents 30 seconds of their dance. Afterwards, company members sign up for which dances they are interested in. There are dances of all styles- jazz, contemporary, musical theater, tap, pointe, and everything in between. I presented my dance- a pointe piece to an acoustic version of Take Me to Church.


Mid September- The first rehearsals of the year begin! After a long summer without dancing, everyone is always a little rusty getting back into shape. At the same time- it feels SO good to be dancing again after the long break. Each dance rehearsal is once a week, and dancers can sign up for as many as they wish! This semester I picked a jazz piece and a musical theater piece to participate in, in addition to my own piece.


Mid October- It’s already time to start ordering the costumes. Choreographers are given a budget and pick out costumes that match their dance. Costumes range from hot pink sparkling shorts to long flowing dramatic skirts. For mine, I picked out short white sundresses and pink flower crowns.


Early November- The showcase is only a few weeks away, so it’s time for last-minute rehearsals and review sessions. Everyone is trying to finish and clean their dance before dress rehearsals begin. In addition, this semester, our company has gotten approval to get Under Armour apparel, so now we put in our last-minute company gear orders.


Show Week- It’s finally here! Monday and Tuesday of show week are tech rehearsals where choreographers get to run their piece on stage and fix the lighting. Wednesday night is a double dress rehearsal. It’s a long and draining night. Luckily we are performing in the student performing arts center, Washington Hall, which is next to the student center, LaFun, so it’s easy to run next door and grab extra sustenance. Finally, it’s Thursday and Friday, our show nights! All the rehearsals have definitely been worth it- because our show is incredible. Everyone has worked so hard, and we pack the theater with large audiences each night. Each dance is beautiful and creative, and the audience seems to enjoy it as much as we do.


After our last bow, it’s bittersweet- our hectic dance schedule is finally finished for the semester, but it’s sad that my favorite extracurricular is finished for the semester. Luckily, we get to do it all again in the spring semester!