Meet the Dancers of Week of Dance! Spotlight on Full Swing Dancers!

By Alexandra Villareal

In order to kick off the Arts Council event Week of Dance, we have begun to explore the stories of the students that form Boston College’s various dance groups, so we would like to introduce you to BC dancers Naz Subah and Dave Hoffman, two dance partners in BC’s swing group Full Swing!

Be sure to check out the Week of Dance Facebook event for more info and be sure to get your tickets from the Robsham Theater Arts Center!

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Boston College’s high-flying, toe-taping dance group Full Swing will be returning to Week of Dance. We focus on two dancers, Naz Subah and Dave Huffman, who have been partners for three years. Naz is currently president of the club and Dave is also on the executive board, helping choreograph their dance for Showdown in the spring.

What’s your favorite memory of Full Swing?

Naz: My favorite memory is from a rehearsal my sophomore year. In the middle of an aerial, Dave lost grip of my ankle, but he continued to spin me, holding me by the toes. That was when I realized I could trust my partner to catch me, even if it was by the toes!

Dave: I’d have to say that my favorite memory was my sophomore year Showdown. After countless hours of work, just getting to be on that stage was such an incredible experience, but hearing the crowd’s applause afterwards was truly unforgettable.

Why did you join Full Swing and what made you stay?

Naz: I joined Full Swing because I wanted to learn a new style of dance. I had to quit a competitive dance team after my freshman year, so I needed something more easygoing, and Full Swing was just that. I stayed for the same reason as anyone else; we all really love to dance together and when we’re not dancing, we are hanging out together. My Full Swing fam knows me better than most people on campus.

Dave: I had a flyer shoved in my face by people dancing in the aisle on Club Day my freshman year.  I decided to go, because why not? I had fun and the people were so friendly and welcoming that I wanted to go back next week. The dancing kept being fun and the people that made up the club became my close friends. I wanted to go back, so I did. And still do.

Why do you like to dance?

Naz: Dance started off as a stress reliever, because it allows me to clear my mind and just throw myself into choreography. But as I’ve grown with dance, I recognize that the best part is being able to express individuality through dance.

Dave: I like dance because it is a great outlet. Dancing is inherently fun and expressive, and I’ve found that dancing can put a smile on your face even when you’re having a rough day. And when you’re close with the people you’re dancing with, there is no judgment, which makes you feel comfortable just being yourself.

What do you like most about being partners?

Naz: Dancing with a partner requires a tremendous amount of trust, which accumulates over time. You can anticipate a partner’s next move from his/her body language if trust and chemistry exist. Having danced with Dave for so long, I know his favorite moves and the meaning of his facial expressions

Dave: Naz was my first partner freshman year, and have danced with her a lot over the years. Not only do we have great chemistry, but also we feel comfortable together and just know how each other dance. More than that, though, she’s become a very close friend. I know she’ll always be there for me if I’m panicking and need advice or am stressed and just want to vent, just like how she knows I’ll always be there for her.

Come out and support Full Swing during the 2016 Week of Dance hosted by the Boston College Arts Council and the Robsham Theater Arts Center! Make sure to also check out the Full Swing Facebook Page and grab your tickets to Week of Dance online at the Robsham Theatre Arts Center.

Be sure to check out the BC Week of Dance workshops throughout this week (schedule below) as well as the Week of Dance Showcase shows on Friday Dec 2nd at 7:00pm and Saturday Dec 3rd at 7:00pm; tickets through at Robsham Theater Arts Center.

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Meet the Dancers of Week of Dance! Francisco of Fuego del Corazon

by Estefania Szapiro

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Dancer of Fuego del Corazon– Francisco Uzcategui

“Having so many great people on the team and in the dancing community is incredibly important when you spend so much time with them. A lot of the friendships I developed through college have come from Fuego and it has brought my BC experience to a whole new level” – Francisco Uzcategui

Francisco (CSOM’ 17) is an international student from Venezuela and has been the the captain of Fuego del Corazon for the past two years. Fuego strives to encourage the awareness of Latin culture through dance in a positive and co-ed environment. They perform Tango, Bachata, Merengue, Salsa and every other dance style with Latin roots, but also like to mix it up with some contemporary styles like Hip-Hop. More than a dance group, Fuego is before all else a family.

Initially, Francisco considered himself a social dancer and claims to never have imagined joining an actual dance team and performing before an audience. This all changed when he came to BC and decided to branch out and try new things. He first heard about Fuego at a party in freshmen year where a member of the team saw him dancing and urged him to try out. He was selected among the many students that auditioned and made a life-changing decision by joining the team. Not only did he discover a passion in the arts, but also made life-long friendships that positively influenced his college experience.

For Week of Dance Francisco is excited to see what the other teams are bringing this year, especially choreographies. He encourages everyone to come to the Week of Dance shows and workshops to enjoy some good dancing and cool performances and promises you wont regret it.

Come to Week of Dance and support your friends and dance groups! Experience BC’s art of dance and see more than 100 talented performers do what they love most.

Be sure to check out the BC Week of Dance workshops throughout this week (schedule below) as well as the Week of Dance Showcase shows on Friday Dec 2nd at 7:00pm and Saturday Dec 3rd at 7:00pm; tickets through at Robsham Theater Arts Center.

 

And be sure to check out Fuego’s special workshop on Tues Nov 29 in the Brighton Dance Studio!

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Week of Dance! Dancer Spotlight: Monica of On Tap

By Rachel Vishanoff

In order to kick off the Arts Council & Robsham Theater Arts Center event Week of Dance, we have begun to explore the stories of the students that form Boston College’s various dance groups, so we would like to introduce you to BC Senior and tapper Monica Cosica of BC’s On Tap!

Be sure to check out the Week of Dance Facebook event for more info and be sure to get your tickets from the Robsham Theater Arts Center!

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On Tap is BC’s only all-tap dance group on campus, and it is also BC’s newest dance group! Since the spring of 2015, On Tap has grown tremendously and is now proud to perform in events like Week of Dance, Showdown, Arts Fest, and Dancing with bOp!

Monica Coscia, a dancer of 17 years, is a senior in On Tap and a member of the executive board.

“Watching On Tap grow through my transition as a member of the first e-board to a leader of the group has been one of my most formative experiences at Boston College: it has taught me that anyone with enough self-motivation and perseverance can turn his or her passion into a successful enterprise that has provided a community to dozens of dancers and entertainment to thousands of audience members.”

“Because I, like so many others at BC, am constantly expressing myself through complex conversations, discussions, and essays, dance allows me to self-express in a non-verbal, non-written way”

“Tap is my favorite style of dance because the possibilities for choreography are endless—there are innumerable combinations of each tap step that can be performed with any style of music or no music at all, mixed with other styles of dance like jazz and hip hop, and performed in traditional or modern styles.”

“Tap is its own language, and there is something unspeakably satisfying about many dancers speaking it in perfect unison.”

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Be sure to check out the BC Week of Dance workshops throughout this week (schedule below) as well as the Week of Dance Showcase shows on Friday Dec 2nd at 7:00pm and Saturday Dec 3rd at 7:00pm; tickets through at Robsham Theater Arts Center.

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Week of Dance! with the Dance Organization of Boston College

By Rachel Vishanoff

In order to kick off the Arts Council & Robsham Theater Arts Center event Week of Dance, we have begun to explore the stories of the students that form Boston College’s various dance groups, so we would like to introduce you to BC sophomore and dancer Amy Feldman of the Dance Organization of Boston College!

Be sure to check out the Week of Dance Facebook event for more info and be sure to get your tickets from the Robsham Theater Arts Center!

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Amy Feldman, a sophomore member of the Dance Organization of Boston College, started dancing when she was three. She comes from a family of dancers, and her inspiration to dance comes from her grandmother, who danced her whole life and continued pursuing her passion later in life by joining a theatre group. It was her grandmother who always taught her the importance of stage presence.

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“I love DOBC because of how supportive we are of each other. It really feels like a family!”

DOBC has given Amy the opportunity to choreograph for a group of people she truly admires—a group that pushes her “to make creative choreography that is worthy of them.”

Another highlight for Amy was last year’s ALC Showdown! This was her first at BC and her first time dancing in front of so many people, and she says “It was great to see that so many people in the BC community appreciate dance.”

DOBC is an entirely student run group, with all of their rehearsals, studio classes, and conditioning classes run by its own members.

Be sure to check out the BC Week of Dance workshops throughout this week (schedule below) as well as the Week of Dance Showcase shows on Friday Dec 2nd at 7:00pm and Saturday Dec 3rd at 7:00pm; tickets through at Robsham Theater Arts Center.

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Meet Interior Designer Mark Haddad at Career Night for the Arts!

Meet Mark Haddad from the BC class of ’87. He is an accomplished Boston-area Interior Designer, and the Prinicipal (head designer) at Haddad Hakansson Design Studio! Mark will be one of the alumni attending Career Night for the Arts 2016! Come join us on Thursday, November 16th between7:00pm – 8:30pm in the Heights Room to meet tons of BC alumni working in the arts to network with alumni like Mark, ask questions, and get advice about developing your own creative career! Check out the Arts Council Career Night for the Arts website for more info, or look at the Facebook event page! This event is a collaborative endeavor between the Arts Council, the Career Center, and the Alumni Association, bringing together all of BC’s best resources to help BC students turn their creativity into a career. You can also read the bios of all of the attending alumni here. 

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Interview by Rachel Vishanoff

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Mark Haddad is Principal of Haddad Hakansson Design Studio, an award-winning, full-service interior design firm serving clientele in greater Boston, Cape Cod & Islands, throughout New England and beyond.  Established in 2001, the firm specializes in kitchen and bath design, custom cabinetry, whole house renovation and exceptional home décor. A Massachusetts native, Mark received his M.Ed. in Creative Arts Education from Lesley University and is certified as an Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer from the National Kitchen & Bath Association. Prior to beginning his own business, Mark worked as a music teacher and school administrator as well as a vocalist and musical director throughout the Boston area.  In addition, he has taught kitchen and bath design at Boston Architectural College from 2008-2015. Currently, Mark continues to be the choir director at The Church of St. John of Damascus in Dedham, and serves on the board of directors at SpeakEasy Stage Company in Boston.

Could you tell us a little bit about your time here at BC? What was a lesson or experience that was especially formative for you as an artist? 

It is hard to believe that I am celebrating my 30th reunion this year.  Although practically a lifetime ago, my experience at BC taught me to follow my passion, strive for excellence, and most importantly, develop confidence and independence in all that I do.

What drove you to start your own company, and how has that process shaped you and your work?

Owning my own business has always been a goal of mine.  When the opportunity presented itself, I took the necessary steps to determine the risks and timing of it all.  Through professional coaching I set goals.   When my personal and financial goals were met in half of the allotted time, I knew I had made the right decision.  This process has always been at the underlying core of my business – thankful for the success, allowing me to think outside the box, and knowing that each day will present something new, something challenging, and something wildly fulfilling.

Along with your work in design, you’ve also invested yourself in music and music education. What motivates your work with music, and how do you see the relationship between your work in music and your work in design?

Throughout my life, music has always been a part of my core.  I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work successfully as a musician and music educator.  Without music in my life, I feel a noticeable void.  Music centers me.  Being a musician inspires my design work allowing me to be constantly creative, to think logically and systematically, and to always strive for improvement in everything I do.

Do you have any advice for students looking to pursue a career in the arts?  

The best advice I ever received is the old cliché “follow your passion.” When you enjoy what you do, your career never feels like work.  Whether it be performance or visual arts, you enjoy it all – the ups and downs, the challenges, and especially the end product.

Thank you for the advice!

BC Students: Don’t forget to check out all of the amazing artistic alumni attending Career Night for the Arts 2016, and make sure to read our interviews with Maureen Donovan, the Deputy Director of Harvard Art Museums; Eric Butler, Theatre Producer; Erin Dionne, Author; Karen Stein, Art Director and Principal Designer at goodgood; Daron Manoogian, the Communications Director of Harvard Art MuseumsStephen Zubricki III, Principal Designer for Mystic View Design, Inc. ; and Lauren Pollock, Gallery Director of Leila Heller Gallery. Meet these alumni and more at Career Night for the Arts, Thursday November 17th, 2016 at 7-8:30pm in the Heights Room!

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Career Night for the Arts Alumni Feature: Lauren Pollock ’07, Gallery Director

by Rachel Lee

Meet Lauren Pollock from the BC class of 2007! Pollock is currently the Gallery Director of the Leila Heller Gallery in New York City (read more about the Gallery, with locations in New York and Dubai, here).

Career Night for the Arts 2016! Come join us on Thursday, November 16th between 7:00pm – 8:30pm in the Heights Room to meet tons of BC alumni working in the arts to network, ask questions, and get advice about developing your own creative career! Check out the Arts Council Career Night for the Arts website for more info, or look at the Facebook event page! This event is a collaborative endeavor between the Arts Council, the Career Center, and the Alumni Association, bringing together all of BC’s best resources to help BC students turn their creativity into a career. You can also read the bios of all of the attending alumni here. 

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Lauren Pollock graduated from Boston College in 2007, with a degree in Art History. She continued her graduate studies at Hunter College in New York City, and completed a 6-month internship at The Jewish Museum where she assisted with the exhibition Chagall and the Artists of the Russian Jewish Theater1919-1949. Currently she is Director of Leila Heller Gallery, an art gallery specializing in contemporary international art with locations in New York City and Dubai. There she oversees the gallery’s ambitious exhibition and art fair programme, manages artist relationships, and helps to organize numerous off-site projects. Currently she is serving as the editor of a forthcoming book on the work of Shiva Ahmadi, to be published in 2017.

What is your most memorable art-related experience at BC and could you describe what you learned from it? 

Definitely the many afternoons spent at the MFA [Museum of Fine Arts, Boston]! It is so wonderful that the Art Department at BC takes advantage of having so many amazing museums and institutions at its fingertips. The time I spent engaging directly with works of art for coursework was immensely inspiring and a driving force behind my decision to pursue a career in the arts.

In today’s fast-changing art world, what are some of the biggest changes you have witnessed during your career? 

The accessibility to art, or more specifically to images of art. Art enthusiasts, collectors and the general public now have vast resources for viewing art online and via social media. Already just in the number of years that I have been working in the gallery world, I feel there has been a noticeable change in how art is experienced. While there are many advantages to this of course, I hope that galleries and museums continue to remain spaces of learning, enjoyment and social engagement!

As a director of a contemporary art gallery, what is the most rewarding part of your job? 

Being able to work closely with so many amazing and talented artists. There is a great feeling of fulfillment in seeing a project or exhibition of their work to fruition, especially one that is well received publicly and critically.

Some of our artists have also had really fantastic public installation projects, which are especially exciting to work on…You feel the work is able to have this whole other life outside of the gallery! One of our artists currently has a large-scale outdoor sculpture featured in a public park in the city of Chicago, presented through the Chicago Parks District. Knowing that countless people pass by that work every day is pretty special!

What are some of the qualities or skills that you feel will help a BC student succeed in today’s art museum/gallery field?

Being passionate, driven and curious I think are all very important qualities to have! And definitely being proactive and engaged. For anyone seriously interested in pursuing a career in the arts, my advice is to just get out there: see art, visit museums and galleries, connect with people who are in the field, and ask questions!

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BC Students: Don’t forget to check out all of the amazing artistic alumni attending Career Night for the Arts 2016, and make sure to read our interviews with Maureen Donovan, the Deputy Director of Harvard Art Museums; Eric Butler, Theatre Producer; Erin Dionne, Author; Karen Stein, Art Director and Principal Designer at goodgood; Daron Manoogian, the Communications Director of Harvard Art Museums; and Stephen Zubricki III, Principal Designer for Mystic View Design, Inc.  Meet these alumni and more at Career Night for the Arts, Thursday November 17th, 2016 at 7-8:30pm in the Heights Room!

Week of Dance Spotlight: Meet the Golden Eagles Dance Team!

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by Rachel Vishanoff

The Golden Eagles Dance Team spends most of the fall season performing along side the Screaming Eagles Marching Band half time and throughout BC Game Days. But they also like to showcase student choreography in a wide variety of styles at events like Week of Dance and Arts Fest, and they spend their whole spring season exploring and celebrating the many diverse talents of the team.

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Julia McTigue (MCAS ’20), a ballet dancer all her life, joined the Golden Eagles Dance Team this year to continue dancing in college and stay in shape, while also experiencing a new pace and style of dance. If she’s learned anything this season, she says that it’s “the importance of the whole rather than the individual.” To put on a good halftime show, everyone has to contribute equally with the final product in view—and that’s what gives the performance its impact. “What I like about the Dance Team is that we all have different backgrounds and talents and we all contribute in our own way.” For Julia, this goes far beyond the final product on the field. She already felt at home when she moved to campus and found a GEDT sign on her door to welcome her, and she loves that she was able to come to campus early and establish herself and make friends. “The upperclassmen have really taken me under their wing”—yet one more reason why she feels like the Golden Eagles have given her a home here at BC.

Rachel Vishanoff (MCAS ’18) is one of the student leaders for the Golden Eagles this year, and is most excited to be able to watch the team become such an important home at BC for the freshmen this year just like it has been for her. “Little things like the name plates on the doors of all our dancers’ rooms, and game-day sticky notes in everyone’s lockers have been special to me the past three years and it’s been wonderful to be on the other side of that this year and actually be helping to make those things happen for the team.” Her favorite game-day tradition is reciting Psalm 150 with everyone before taking the field. “It’s a reminder that who we are while no one is watching us is just as important, if not more, than what we put on the field that day, and that’s what makes the team special.”

The Golden Eagles Dance Team will be performing during the Week of Dance at the BC Dance Showcase! The Dance Showcase will perform twice, on Friday December 2nd at 7:00pm, and on Saturday December 3rd at 7:00pm, and features 12 different BC dance groups! Tickets on sale through the Robsham Theater Arts Center Box Office starting November 21st.