SUDC places second at NEC

Article by: Angela Bray

Last Sunday, the Suffolk University Dance Company (SUDC) dance competition team competed at Westfield State University for the UDA New England Championship. Among eight area college dance teams, SUDC placed second.

“It was their first time ever competing, and their intentions were to really get their feet wet and experience what the whole collegiate competitive dance world was about,” said Kathleen Maloney, assistant Director of the Performing Arts Office. “They did not have set expectations for placement because they really didn’t know what to expect. To place second the first time was incredible, and they are all extremely happy with the results.”

“I honestly don’t think it could have gone much better,” said Amber Zannella, a Suffolk sophomore and member of the competition team. “We really pulled it together and delivered a nearly flawless performance. I’m so proud of all the girls for doing such an amazing job!”

The competition team is a subdivision of the dance company, requiring its dancers an additional three hours of practice per week for specific competition elements. Nine dancers participated in the competition: Julianne Capello ’12, Samantha Millen ’10, Brittany Pacheco ’11, Evelyn Pantos ’10, Calley Reis ’13, Valerie Van Gerven ’10, Michelle Webber ’13, Amber Zannella ’12, and Melissa Moreschi ’13.

“Competition has a completely different feel than performing in front of your friends and family. It’s nerve-racking!” said Zannella. “You know when you are on the stage there is a group of judges watching intently and critiquing your every move. But once we started dancing, all those nerves went away and we were just having fun like we always do.”

“During the performance, I was so excited to finally show off to people what we had worked so hard to achieve: a clean, together, and energetic performance,” said Webber.

Webber said the senior dancers have been working to form a competition team for the past four years, and how exciting it was for the dancers to work together and finally make it happen.

Practicing every Sunday for three hours, the team learned a new piece of choreography that highlighted the dancers’ strengths. During the week prior to the competition, they rehearsed and perfected the piece almost every evening. The night before the competition, the team performed their routine at a Blazers game. “I think that helped get us excited for the competition the next day, and it was a good time to get all the nerves out,” said Webber. “We all put in a lot of time to make sure we would be ready. Angie [Bonnici], our director, put in a lot of time to help us prepare.”

“The best part of the competition was just spending time with the girls on the team,” said Zannella. “We all worked so hard; it was truly a bonding experience. It felt great to be on stage representing Suffolk and the team itself. Getting second place was the icing on the cake!”

“The Performing Arts Office is extremely proud of the group and all they have achieved this year,” said Maloney. “They have worked very hard as a team all year and it is wonderful to see all that work recognized both within Suffolk and beyond.”