By Brendan Cross

For The Diamondback

University of Maryland students showcased their choreography and dance skills in the UMoves: Undergraduate Dance Concert last weekend in The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.

Friday’s performance, which took place in front of a nearly full audience, was the first UMoves: Undergraduate Dance Concert in four years. 

The concert included seven dance performances that covered different themes and messages, such as grief and passion. Each routine was choreographed by a dance major at this university.

Patrik Widrig, a professor at this university’s theater, dance and performance studies school, was the director of this year’s show and found directing the concert to be rewarding. 

“To see them develop these works with each other and to see how excited they are and how really grateful they are for the opportunity … it’s very special,” he said.

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Greta Cover, a senior marketing and dance major, was the lone performer in a piece she choreographed called “Looking For A Craic.” The routine explored movement between Irish Step Dance and other dance forms. 

“Irish dance is very structured and modern [dance] is not, so trying to find ways to blend the two was really difficult,” she said. “But I think I found good ways to do it.”

Her performance played lively music and involved the crowd. Audience members clapped along to the beat of the performance, which Cover found particularly gratifying. 

Casie Curry, a senior dance and agricultural science and technology major, choreographed and performed in a routine called “Foreign Entities.” She was also one of the hosts of the event

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Curry and her co-host got the crowd involved during the show by giving them opportunities to shout out one-word reactions.

“I wanted to do a table talk at the end, like really have it be a conversation with the audience,” she said. “But because of time, it was just one word… it just keeps the audience engaged.”

The concert closed with a routine created by Jalen Wilhite called “Internalization.” Wilhite had been working on this piece for three years. 

His piece highlights the challenges he encounters as a Black queer male and how he overcomes them.

“It was very emotional to me and closing just felt so amazing,” Wilhite, a theatre and dance major, said. “I felt the love in the audience.”

The emotionally powered routine was dedicated to Wilhite’s great-grandmother, who died recently. The audience’s reaction to the work was gratifying to Wilhite. 

“I was crying before but I definitely cried even more,” he said, “My story is very unique … I know that people needed to hear it.”