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Lamar Dance Team presents spring show “Ten” May 8-9

danceThe Lamar University Dance Team will present its spring show “Ten” May 8-9 at the Jefferson Theatre. The dance team has been practicing and preparing for “Ten” since the beginning of January. The dancers found time for two rehearsals a week, and additional weekend rehearsals, while also dancing for the Cardinal basketball teams.  “Ten” represents a total of 33 dances with some members performing in as many as 15 dances.

“You will not want to miss this year’s show because it is the 10th anniversary of the annual spring show,” said Brixey Blankenship-Cozad, Lamar Dance Team coordinator. “This year is also special to me because I have had the privilege of choreographing at least one dance every year since the show began, and I was also an original cast member of the first show in 2005.”

Act I will be an echo of an earlier show “Woman Making History”.  This theme features dances that represent influential woman throughout history. Some of these women include Susan B. Anthony, Mother Theresa and Princess Diana.  The dances portray this group of women who fought for women’s rights.  The performance includes quotes from Anthony’s speech for women’s right to vote, punctuated with the dancers using riot signs as props to make the performance more real to the dancers and the audience. 

Cozad had the responsibility of creating the Act II theme.

“This might be the most challenging Act II I’ve ever done because you’re trying to take history and make it even better,” she said.  “It has been a challenge, but I am very proud of what we were able to accomplish and to see how far this program has come in the past ten years.”

Leading up to the show, practices become longer and longer, said Nicole Hardy, a dance team veteran.  The dancers have to learn all of the dances and perfect them in such a short time frame; practicing about 15 hours a week. They are long stressful hours, she added, but it all pays off when they step onto that stage.

Practicing and perfecting dances is not the dance team’s only responsibility for the spring show, however.  The dance team is also involved in helping make their costumes, slideshows and programs.  The process of costuming the entire team requires the aid of two seamstresses and three-hour fitting sessions.

“Coming up with costumes first starts with the theme,” said Cozad.  “I really like our costumes to portray what our dance is about.  We have seamstresses for the team that will create these masterpieces from scratch.”

The show presents 11 different styles of dance, ranging from Bollywood and ballet to Salsa and hip-hop.

“The dance team’s spring show is unlike anything I have ever seen before,” said Ashley Walker, physical therapist major.  “It’s the closest thing locally that resembles a full on Broadway show.  The lights, costumes and dances are so unique.”

With the aid of 10 choreographers, thousands of rhinestones and countless hours of rehearsal and practice, the Lamar Dance Team is prepared for show time.  The Lamar Dance Team’s “Ten” will be held at the Jefferson Theatre in downtown Beaumont on May 8-9 at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the door for $10.  For more information, contact Brixey Blankenship-Cozad at brixey.blankenship@lamar.edu.