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Dance showcase

Some 71 students performed 17 different pieces at this year’s LIPA Sixth Form College Dance Showcase - as both years 12 and 13 appeared on stage together for the first time.

The dancers performed four sell-out shows over three days. Andrea McDevitt is Programme Manager for Dance, she said it’s important they’re given a run of performances. “We see immense growth in each dancer as they become more and more confident in performing each dance in front of an audience. 

“They learn about the ways a performance develops further nuances and expression and how to control and use their energy effectively in order to sustain quality in their dancing over an extended period, mimicking the processes professional dancers go through.” 

A mixture of styles and techniques were featured, including jazz, ballet, urban, contemporary and commercial. It was choreographed by lecturers and the dancers themselves. 

All backstage support for the Showcase, such as sound, lighting and stage management, was provided by LIPA Sixth Form College students studying Production Arts, with students also working front of house, as ushers and box office staff.

The showcase followed what’s described as a period of creative and technical exploration with Dance students challenging themselves to perform increasingly complex material. Andrea McDevitt said that all the hard work was worth it. “I was wowed by the virtuosity and technicality of many of our dancers, but I was most pleased by the levels of artistry and expression they were able to reach. 

“These are still very young dancers and I would have been impressed by the levels they have achieved if you had told me that they were degree level students.”