Performance fuses charity, dance


Jeanette Slayter/ULM Photo Servi

The University of Louisiana at Monroe’s School of Visual and Performing Arts rehearses for its popular Fall Dance Fusion concert, on Friday, November 20, 2015, in ULM’s Brown Auditorium. Photo by Jeanette Slayter/ULM Photo Services

Mariah Mitchell

The Fall 2015 Dance Fusion blended new and old, as familiar faces in the School of Visual Performing Arts graced the stage.

The concert featured special guest, M Squared that includes associate professors Mel Mobley and Tina Mullone.

The stage lit up with bright lights as the performers danced to the opening number, “Turkey Lurkey.”

From costumes to choreography, production director Robin Stephens organized the Fall Dance Fusion.

Dance students looked forward to a night of performances with an act of charity mixed in.

“I was so excited for the night, a little nervous at first but after the first dance, the excitement really kicked in,” said Whitney Johnson, a junior pre-pharmacy major.

Chi Tau Epsilon Dance Honor Society presented a $105 check toward the cure for breast cancer at the concert. The society raised this money by hosting a Zumbathon that was open to all ULM students.

Former ULM student and official Zumba instructor at the Activity Center, Kelseia Ellison, taught moves at the Zumbathon.

Becky Tripp, affiliate coordinator, accepted the check from the Chi Tau Epsilon Dance Honor Society on behalf of the Susan G. Komen foundation.

Seniors Schuyler Connell and Mikal Marceaux were recognized with an award for their hard work and dedication to the program.

Connell and Marceaux have been performing with the program since they were freshmen and are set to graduate this December.

Shelby Cunningham, a senior secondary education major, said the turn out for the night exceeded her overall expectations.

Cunningham said her favorite performance of the night was “Spain.”

“‘Spain’ was apart of the classic, ‘The Nutcracker’, which has always been a childhood favorite of mine. I really felt we performed it well tonight,” Cunningham said.

Associate professor of dance and co-founder of M Squared, Tina Mullone, said she had chills watching the students perform throughout the night.

“We met three times a week and worked six hours sometimes. We started practicing the second week of the semester all the way up until the afternoon of the performance,” Mullone said.

The performance was the last for VAPA as students and faculty wrapped up the fall semester.

However, the department looks forward to several spring productions including its spring musical and Spring Dance Fusion concert.

Cast members of the musical “Rent” will set  the stage March 16.

Dance Fusion will then return on May 6.