New SBCC Dance Company offers professional growth

TERESIA SVENNERGÅRD, Channels Staff

As rehearsal starts a long row of dancers face a mirror and begin floating across the floor. Tracy Kofford, assistant professor in the physical education department at City College, watches from the sidelines, following each step with his eyes.

Kofford teaches dance classes and is also the founder of the new City College Dance Company.

“This is our first year and we are off to an amazing start,” said Kofford.

This fall, the Dance Company will have three performances. One of the performances will take place Nov. 13 at McCallum Choreography Festival in Palm Desert. The festival had over 125 applicants and only 14 were selected. One of the selections was a piece by Kofford called Intersecting Fugue.

This class was offered for the first time this fall.

“I wanted to give our students the opportunity to experience what it would be like to be in a professional dance company—having to learn multiple works, auditioning and then touring those works at different venues,” said Kofford.

They had their first performance at the closing of “Naked Underneath” on Sept. 17 at the Glendale Gallery. Each of the four dancers performed a solo piece that was connected to artist Colleen Kelly’s art gallery “Naked Under Her Clothes.”

The performance was a success and the audience did a lot of interacting with the dancers afterwards, Kofford said. Kelly also asked to have them back in the spring.

The Dance Company has 17 performers total. Auditions were held in the spring, where 15 dancers were chosen, and two more were selected at the beginning of this semester. All of the seven choreographers teach modern and contemporary styles.

Maddie Gerszewski, who has danced for over 16 years, wanted to join the ensemble as a way to further her knowledge and push herself as a dancer.

“The main thing inspiring me to dance is that there is always something new to be taught,” she said. “Whether it be a skill, technique or choreography, I always look forward to learning new things and receiving the feeling of accomplishment after I improve as a dancer.”

The Dance Company has a Facebook page and a website with updates about the group and all of the upcoming performances.