As the academic year comes to a close, the final weekends at Amherst are filled with an endless selection of performances, senior games and spring concerts. Last weekend, Dance and Step at Amherst College (DASAC) performed its much-anticipated final show, “DASAC’s Favorite Soundtrack,” filling the Friedmann Room with energy and music over a three-day marathon of performances.
Choreographers had worked with their dancers throughout the semester, piecing together and perfecting their routines to be ready for the show — and the hard work definitely paid off.
“I loved watching the way such beautiful people could expertly move and control their bodies. It just makes you want to get up and dance with them!” said Rafi Demarath ’21 after watching the show.
The show began with a slow, moody piece called “Are U Human?” organized and choreographed by Vanessa Henscheid ’18, who made use of choreography from YouTube dancer Sean Lew for one of her two songs. The stage was set up in the middle of the Friedmann Room, so the packed audience surrounded the dancers, making for a more intimate environment where the crowd was truly involved in the show. Throughout the performance, you could hear audience members calling out their friends’ names and cheering them on.
The first half of the show continued on with larger group hip hop numbers; “Ride or Die” choreographed by Eric Wang ’21, “You Got the WROOOOONG B*” choreographed by Trenati Baker ’20 and Elinton Park ’20 and “/~WOO~*\” choreographed by Anise Diaz ’18 and Smith student Ally Garcia.
As if the dances were not impressive enough on their own, six of the DASAC dancers performed one piece in six-inch stilettos. The high-energy dances before intermission got the crowd excited and eager to see what the final six dances would bring. Another big group number, “Dance and Chill” choreographed by SJ Doi ’18, kicked off the second half of the show.
“Being in the show is such a fun experience because all of the DASAC people are standing on the side and hyping you up and cheering you on. It’s a really validating feeling,” said Vivian Cordon ’18, one of the dancers featured in “Dance and Chill.”
The next two dances, “Love” and “Sides,” only had four dancers each and served as a change of pace from some of the bigger numbers. “Love” especially stood out from the rest as a slower and more emotional dance.
These two were followed by “SECURITYYYY,” a colorful, fun, upbeat number that had been choreographed as a collaboration by all the dance’s participants.
A breakdancing number titled “Avatar the Last Airbender,” choreographed by Nick Felli ’19, drew inspiration from the childhood TV show to create a duel-like dance battle between the performers onstage. The dance battle got the crowd involved, as they cheered on their favorite characters.
The show closed with another group number choreographed by Jasmine Gamboa ’19 and Scott Rochard ’18, first performed by a group of male dancers, then by a group of women, before closing with a song that brought the two groups together to finish off the event.
For the seniors, the final performance on Sunday was a bittersweet one. At the end of the final show on Sunday night, many shared heartfelt gratitude for the community that served as a family throughout their years at Amherst. As for the rest of us, we can’t wait for the next DASAC show in the fall!