Suffolk University Dance Company’s hard work pays off at Winter Showcase

The Suffolk University Dance Company (SUDC) lit up the stage during their annual Winter Showcase on Feb. 6 at the Calderwood Pavilion in Boston’s South End. The dance team has been working tirelessly all year to prepare for various upcoming performances, but the Winter Showcase was different than other events.

The Winter Showcase consisted of 10 performances, seven of which were performed by current SUDC members. One number was performed by alumni SUDC members Joanna Fenerlis and Shantel Vigliotta. Merrimack College dancer Gianna Delaney and Suffolk University’s W!CKED Dance Crew also performed.

The show featured a variety of genres like lyrical, jazz and hip hop. The songs were all choreographed by the student dancers, but the routines looked as though they were put together by professional instructors. Some of the songs they performed included “Instructionby Jax Jones feat. Demi Lovato and Stefflon Don.  Bright lights with pink and purple tints lit up the dancers who were dressed in pink shirts and hair bows. The team’s extraordinary energy matched the upbeat song and made the auditorium feel like a party. The crowd went wild when the group performed “God Is A Woman” by Ariana Grande. This song showcased more of the team’s technical abilities with turns, leaps and stunts.

“The winter showcase serves as an opportunity for SUDC to transform our stellar choreography into beautiful performances by adding a stage, costumes, lighting, an audience and guest performers,” freshman Jack Caravallo said in an interview with The Suffolk Journal.

Caravallo, who has been dancing since the age of five, knew he wanted to continue his dancing career when he got to Suffolk.

“I joined SUDC to continue my long-standing passion for dance and choreography. I loved the sense of community and family that SUDC had to offer,” Caravallo said in an interview with The Journal. “All the dance groups at Suffolk had their own genre and performing opportunities, however SUDC seemed to fit my experience and interests the most.”

Suffolk University freshman and SUDC member Abby West described the preparation for the show as a full team effort.

“All of the members of SUDC are dedicated and passionate about making SUDC the best that it can be. Rehearsals are always focused and driven on learning new pieces or cleaning and perfecting old ones,” said West. “It definitely isn’t easy and it gets tiring but when we get to perform our pieces on a stage, all the hard work is worth it.”  

The audience was immersed in a dance experience that was a clear indication as to how much the group had been preparing.

“My favorite part about attending the SUDC performance would definitely have to be watching all of the hard work and dedication the performers put into the show, which was clearly reflected through their dances,” Suffolk freshman and audience member Morgan Roberts said after the show.

SUDC Director Jessica Goepfert said that the showcase is a team effort and could not be done without help from everyone.

“It’s something we work hard for as a team,” Goepfert said. “Beyond the time spent in rehearsals, they are all doing their part, from hanging flyers to determining lighting cues and costumes. It’s a magical moment when it all comes together, and each and every dancer had a hand in it.”

Goepfert got involved with SUDC in 2011 and said that her favorite part about working with the team is their creativity and kindness.

“They are 100% supportive of one another. Dance can be competitive and cliquey; I’ve seen it firsthand. But in this group, there is nothing but love,” said Goepfert.

West has been dancing since the age of three and holds the members of this team very close to her heart.

“SUDC is like my second family. Our rehearsals are the best part of my week,” said West.

West believes that the strong friendships people have made through the company influence the team as they perform their routines.

“We all share the bond of dance and it really shows when we get on stage. I am so happy that I joined and I really couldn’t imagine my college life without SUDC,” said West.

Though the Winter Showcase may be over, SUDC is far from done performing. Their next stop is at the TD Garden where they will perform for the Celtics pregame show on Feb. 27.