Dear Saint Mary’s Community,
Although you may not be joining us for a concert in Pittman auditorium… I hope this letter finds you and your family in great health and in the comfort of your homes. This truly has been a time of adjustment for Orchesis Dance Theatre, as the dancers have left the studios and found themselves spinning around in their kitchens taking virtual dance classes. The vast changes in our daily lives have not, however, belittled the dedication, love, and strength of Orchesis Dance Theatre. This spring concert may look a little different but it is busting at the seams with remarkable creativity.
Every dancer and choreographer has worked tirelessly this semester to create beautiful pieces of artistry. We were incredibly fortunate to have many guest artists work with us, including Taylor King ‘09 and Sophie Wilfong ‘15, both of which are Saint Mary’s alumnae, and Ashley Hathaway, a principal dancer with Carolina Ballet who taught a series of classes and choreographed a piece with us.
Taylor King noted, “I had a wonderful time connecting with the [Orchesis] dancers. I graduated over 10 years ago and it’s always wonderful to see how the SMS community has grown, while the heart of the community still stays the same. It was clear to me that the girls really enjoy one another. They really welcomed me into their space. I was impressed by their work ethic and we got an eight-minute dance done in just three days!”
For the past four years, I have gotten to work alongside my fellow seniors J’Lah, Ashley, and Kate. This concert would have also showcased each of our senior solos and our senior group piece. I have adored getting to dance with these young women and watch the three of them grow even more into the beautiful dancers and people that they are today. We were also very fortunate to welcome 13 new members into the company this year. I loved watching them jump right in and I know they will carry Orchesis to accomplish great things.
As this year’s Orchesis president, I cannot thank the members of this company enough for their continuous hard work and for being such a dedicated group of dancers to lead this year. I could have never imagined I would find something in my life that would make saying goodbye so hard. Now I am looking forward to returning to Pittman next fall to see, what I can confidently say, will be the best Orchesis concert yet! I hope while you are at home during the pandemic, you continue to find ways to support the arts programs in your community.
Frances Williams ’20
President, Orchesis Dance Theatre