Rider Dance Ensemble Pivots to Online Performances – The Rider News
By Tori Pender
Rider Dance Ensemble (RDE) got creative, adapting to the pandemic while keeping the environment warm for their club members and remembering the past.
Victoria Williams described that behind the red curtain of the Yvonne Theater, members of RDE circle and in the middle stands the president of RDE with a hat.
Then the president performs a free dance to a song chosen at random. When the President’s freestyle is complete, the hat is passed to another member to continue the freestyle. The travel hat goes around everyone in the circle.
âWe call it, ‘Pass the hat on.’ It’s a great time and it helps everyone build morale and energy before the show, âsaid Williams, a junior dance major.
Williams has been with RDE since her freshman spring semester and will continue until she graduates.
Other members of Williams’ RDE have described the club’s closeness. Alayna Rubach, treasurer of RDE and second year dance science student, has been with RDE since fall 2019.
âMy favorite part of RDE is the family the club has created for me,â said Rubach. “I feel so welcome with everyone at the club, and I feel like this club has given me friends that I will have for the rest of my life.”
Since transitioning to dance via Zoom, RDE has released dance pieces from previous years for “Flashback Friday” and hosted a paint and sip movie night.
âRDE ran online workshops every Friday night, as well as meetings every second Monday night to stay in touch with club members,â Rubach said.
The transition from face-to-face to line dancing has been difficult for some.
âI miss the connection and feel the energy of others in the room when I dance. Being at home and secluded indoors with the dancing is so limited when the dancing is truly limitless, âWilliams said.
âThe hardest part of going online has been dealing with the fact that we can’t physically dance together,â Rubach said. “One of the biggest things that I miss is to physically dance with others and to be able to feed off the energy of those around me.”
Ryan Alger, junior technical theater student and president of RDE, added, âThe hardest part of the transition to connecting online has been finding ways to keep our members involved while not being able to physically dance together.
However, Algiers and his team remain on their guard.
âMy board and I are constantly brainstorming new ideas to try and keep things fun and exciting. Stay tuned for lots of fun surprises next semester, âshe said.
With the team motivated by their passion for dance, many remain hopeful of bringing some normalcy back to the club.
âHopefully we can do some sort of online performance next semester,â Rubach said.
Published in the 11/11/20 issue of The Rider News