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Moravian College Dancers to Celebrate 30 Years of Performance

Bethlehem, Pa., March 30, 2005— The Moravian College Dancers will celebrate 30 years of footwork at its performances Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2, 8:00 p.m. in Foy Concert Hall.

Mary Anne Gillen Hoffman, who has been teaching ballet at the College since 2001, became the company’s artistic director this year. Alycia Piazza, who teaches jazz dance at the College, is assistant director.

Hoffman, Piazza, and Nicole Hockenberry, who teaches tap in Easton, are the professional choreographers for this year’s performance.

Hoffman’s piece involves tennis rackets and music by Tchaikovsky. It’s in homage to Dawn Ketterman Benner, professor of physical education, founder of the Moravian College Dancers, and women’s tennis coach for the College.

Student choreographers include Jessica Cusumano ’07, Devon, Pa.; Melissa Drost ’05, Clark, N.J.; Kristin Maddaloni ’07, Douglasville, Pa.; Cathleen Lavelle ’05, Sellersville, Pa.; Rebecca Moore’06, Easton, Pa.; Bridget O’Rourke ’07 Lansdowne, Pa.; and Kathryn Washer, ’06, Easton, Pa. They’ve created dances in styles ranging from lyrical to jazz to modern.

“All of them danced for 15 years before they came here,” says Hoffman of her student dancer/choreographers. “It was such a big part of their lives in high school, and here they are trying to fit it around their academics. They’re all involved in so much! A lot of these dancers give their time year after year, despite getting no credit.” Continuing a long tradition, the dancers welcome local performing ensembles: Broadway Rhythms Dance Company, Coral’s Academy of Dance in Macungie, In Motion Dance Company, the dance ensemble from Lehigh Valley Charter High School of the Performing Arts, Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Repertory Dance Theater in Allentown, and Hockenberry’s T.A.P.

The Moravian College Dancers is a coed organization that allows students to express themselves through ballet, modern dance, and jazz. Students take technique and composition classes in the fall semester, and they spend the spring semester preparing for the concert. They are advised by Dawn Ketterman-Benner.

Admission is $5. Foy Hall is located on the Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus at the corner of Main and Church Streets in Bethlehem. For more information call 610-861-1530.