“What’s Your Move” Brings Students Together to Share Their Stories Through Dance

3 min read

by Hannah Lorenzo ’24

Arts & Entertainment Editor

The Theater and Dance Department invited the Trinity College community to witness the culmination of student-led choreography and performances at the “What’s Your Move: An Evening of Student Choreography” Spring Dance Concert. On April 18-19, 2024 at the Austin Arts Center, students showcased their personal stories and artistic talents, bringing fellow dance colleagues, friends and students from all over campus to dance.

Caroline Frederick ’24, theater and dance major and Hispanic studies minor, choreographed “Glow,” which reflects the relationships that she built with her friends and the lasting impact they have on her. Frederick said, “It is about the spectrum of friendship, the really high highs and the low lows, and what it means to be there for someone throughout all of it.” 

Aarti Lamberg ’24, human rights major and community action minor, performed to “Glow” and is one of Frederick’s friends to whom she dedicated the dance. Lamberg also choreographed “Listen as the Body Speaks” and created the piece as part of her human rights thesis about restorative justice and the connection between dance and healing from trauma.

“Embodied knowledge is a big theme in my thesis, like learning from your body, learning to listen to it, releasing what needs to be released and teaching yourself to regain strength and trust in yourself,” Lamberg said. “I have four dancers, and they are in different stages of healing. Healing is a spectrum and does not happen linearly. They are in their own world, and then they meet each other and interact.”

Jack Darling ’25, English major and formal organizations minor, experimented with hip hop and his choreographic style to ultimately make “Riptide.”

“I like the word riptide because it goes with the ocean theme that I was trying to portray, pulling you into a different world like the way a riptide does,” Darling said. “The audience is more engaged with each zone that I created because I have three different sections in the dance. I had the idea of pulling people into the space that I am in instead of just watching me.”

 Tiffany Huang ’26, economics and anthropology major, shared her excitement to choreograph another dance this year and engage in a video game-inspired, hip hop piece titled “Pixelated” with her friends. 

“To build up and collaborate your concept to dance moves and to the music. These combine together to make theater and dance chemicals,” Huang said. “It is exploring your body, your dancers and your crew to form your moves and your dancers to it in a full piece.” 

Professors in the Theater and Dance Department helped students develop and polish their own choreography. Assistant Professor of Theater and Dance Rebecca Pappas said, “Myself, Peter Kyle and Brandon Couloute have been working as mentors with the students and trying to say this is your choreography, but how can we keep raising the level of it while it is still being your own voice?”

With the support of Trinity’s performing arts community, students find agency and explore movement and dance as forms of storytelling.

“As student choreographers, being able to tell a story in a different way through movement is something that is really powerful,” Darling said. “Some people like to make statements with their dances and celebrate life. I think dance is something that brings people together, and I think it is such a positive thing that we have this on campus.”

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