Dancing through life: Fall Dance Capstone Concert

Dance majors will display the fruit of their college education this weekend in the Fall Dance Major Capstone Concert entitled Grit. This year’s show includes choreography and performances from four graduating students.

These students are Blake Miller, Brielle Oakes, Elyse DeVos and Cami McCullough. Their work spans a wide range of ideas and inspirations, from dreams to madness to the mysteries of how a body can move.


Some of the choreography was inspired by and centers on something concrete or defined, such as DeVos’ solo which is based on the quote: “If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.”

Other dances were crafted through a loose creative process.

“With my pieces, I usually get a general idea of what I am going for and where I want it to go. Once I have the dancers, I watch to see what kind of natural formations and images I want to pull out of it,” Miller said. “I really like to watch it form itself naturally and craft it from there.”

Miller started out as a theatre major, but switched to dance after trying out some beginning level ballet and modern classes during his second semester.

He believes that these early classes, in addition to some hip-hop instruction he received from a drag queen, helped him grow into a well-rounded performer.

Waiting until college to get started in dance makes Miller a bit of a late bloomer — the other three choreographers began dancing much earlier. McCullough was already taking classes at age five, at which point she was also already collecting creative fodder for her dream-inspired pieces in the show.

According to McCullough, she has been intrigued by dreams and has found herself sleepwalking and talking, ever since she was little. She combined these personal experiences with those of the dancers she worked with.

“I recorded each of my dancers telling stories about weird, sad or interesting dreams that they’ve had during my second rehearsal of the semester. From there, I created movement,” McCullough said. “If you come to the show, you’ll be able to hear all of my dancers’ interesting stories as they dance to them on stage.”

There will be a performance tonight at 8 p.m.and two performances Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are $8 for CSU students and $18 for the public.

“I’ve been curious for a while about the dance program at CSU, but haven’t made it to any of their shows yet,” said Erica Sanders, a sophomore sociology major. “I think this will be a good one to go to as my first CSU dance experience because, as graduating seniors, these guys should be some of the best in the program.”


All four students have poured many hours of thought and energy into shaping their dances and honing in on themes they want to portray, but in the end, it is up to the audience to give the dances meaning.

“The fun part of watching dance is that you can create whatever meaning that you would like,” McCullough said. “Each audience member might view something differently. Read the notes in the program for an idea of what the piece is about, and let your imagination take you from there.”

 Collegian Entertainment Reporter Katie Salka can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com.