By Lydia Ahern
The quad outside of O’Neill Plaza was buzzing with activity this past Friday October 17, as students enjoyed the free food and live performances that were a part of RHA’s “BC Street.” As they snacked on Domino’s Pizza, Panera Bread, and Bolocos burritos, students stopped to watch Performing Arts groups at BC, like The Dance Organization of Boston College (DOBC), perform right in front of them on the grass. DOBC, a talented group of student dancers within Boston College, regularly performs routines for such campus events, among their own shows, throughout the semester. Through an interview with Alana Caso, Assistant Director for the organization, I was able to peek behind the curtain to see all that went into putting on a DOBC routine, like the one performed for “BC Street.”
The commitment the girls of DOBC put into their work is truly impressive. They meet three times a week, minimum, for rehearsals at the Brighton Dance Studio, learning or “cleaning” approximately 30-second increments of a dance each time. Aside from the “Big Show,” which in past years has completely sold out Robsham theatre and is falling on Jan 29, 30th, and 31st this year, the girls are constantly learning additional choreography for smaller events like “BC Street” throughout the semester. Although it is a serious time commitment, especially when performance events are added to the rehearsal schedule, Alana explains that her time rehearsing is more relaxing than anything else: a creative outlet and escape from the hectic school week.
Each member has a different background and strength. The outcome is a collection of diversified talents collaborating together for the “Big Show,” where they can preform all of their dances. Members who qualify in the beginning of the season are responsible for the choreography of their own dances, and the choreographers have freedom to choose any style of dance they prefer for their work. There is a style for everyone at a DOBC show: an audience member can expect to see any combination of jazz, ballet, pointe, tap, and modern, depending on whose input went into the choreography.
Still, the dedication and hard work the girls put into choreographing or learning a dance is just part one of all that goes into a DOBC performance. When asked about their favorite part about being a member of DOBC, the overwhelming response was the friendships they’ve made through the process. Part two of the DOBC equation comes from the fun they are having together dancing, and the family they have formed through all the hard work they put in.
“My favorite thing about Dance Org is the community we’ve formed with each other and within BC. It’s been an honor to see our group grow throughout the last 3 years I’ve been a member, and also to see how we’ve integrated and formed relationships within the greater dance community here on campus. It’s so important to me as director to maintain those connections, but also to maintain the family we have within DOBC. It was the greatest feeling coming into the group as a freshman and knowing I had 40 new friends, from all grades. It’s been the best feeling to see the new members go through the same transition and see the club bond throughout the years. Every year gets better and better, as we get closer as a team! I am definitely most excited for our show in January. It’s always the best week of the year for me and I can’t wait for the new members to experience the excitement. We always look forward to showing the community what we’ve been working on throughout the fall and to put on an entertaining and dynamic show!” – Jenni Mannion, Director, 2015.
“My favorite thing about DOBC has been meeting new friends. Everyone is really welcoming, and it’s great to know people around campus who share a love of dance. I am looking forward to our big performance in January!” – Lucy Purinton, 2018.
“Being a part of DOBC is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. It has helped me grow so much, both as a person and as a dancer, and the atmosphere is truly indescribable. Being surrounded by such amazingly talented, hilarious, and genuine people never fails to put a smile on my face, and the relationships I have made are among my most treasured.” – Victoria DiMillo, 2017
“Joining DOBC was, hands down, the best decision I have made since coming to Boston College. Not only does it provide me with an outlet to do what I love most, it connects me with people who love to dance just as much as I do. I truly feel like I have a family on campus who’s got my back. No matter what.” – McCaela Sullivan, 2017