On the Move

Très bien ensemble: The final pose of Mary Anne Gillen Hoffman’s ballet to the Beatles’ ‘Michelle.’ From left: Melissa Drost ’05, Katie Washer ’06, Rebecca Moore ’06, Cathleen Lavelle ’05, Amanda Logan ’06.

Amanda Logan ’06 and Kathryn Washer ’06 have studied dance for most of their lives. And when they came to college, they didn’t want to give it up.

So, despite full course-loads and a complicated slate of other activities, both take ballet, tap, and jazz dance classes. Each has choreographed a work for the Moravian College Dancers program in Foy Hall next weekend. And both are performing in eight pieces (out of 10) on the program.

“ I tried out for all the ones I thought I could get into,” says Amanda with a rueful smile. “And I got into all of them!” In fact, the only pieces she’s not in are the ones that rehearsed on Tuesday nights, when she has a conflict.

Katie had much the same problem and for much the same reason. Like all dancers their age, they have a hard time saying no.
Amanda, from Idaho Falls, Idaho, came to Moravian because she wanted to get away from the area where she’d lived all her life. Her father is a technical specialist at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Lboratory, a Department of Energy-affiliated facility.

“ When I said I wanted to go to college, I meant I wanted to go,” Amanda says. Last fall, never having seen Moravian and with her parents’ worried approval, she shipped three boxes of stuff and carried two suitcases and her laptop onto a plane and came east by herself.

Katie, by contrast, lives just 45 miles away, in Long Pond in the Poconos.

Her mother, Trinette Singleton, is a famous dancer from the golden years of the Joffrey Ballet; she runs a dance academy in Wilkes-Barre and is a frequent guest choreographer with dance companies across the country. Katie’s father, jazz guitarist William Washer, is an artist-lecturer at Moravian, a frequent substitute in Broadway pit bands, and a busy club musician in Allentown, Bethlehem, Clark Summit, and Lake Harmony.

Her parents enjoy having Katie just far enough away that a visit to campus requires some planning on their part, but close enough so they can come down from the mountains to see her performances.

Which, by the way, means more than dance. Katie is a Comenius Scholar with a double major in physics and music. She studied flute privately with artist-lecturer Robin Kani when she was in high school, so it was just a small step to enroll at Moravian and continue her flute lessons. In the fall, she played in the marching band, and this semester she’s in the Wind Ensemble.

Amanda is no less busy. Also a Comenius Scholar, she already has sophomore standing from advanced placement credits and is thinking of majoring in economics. She is one of five freshman representatives to the Student Senate.

Amanda’s parents enrolled her in ballet when she was 4 and she’s worn pointe shoes since the age of 12.

There never has been a time when Katie hasn’t been a dancer. Her mother was teaching at the Joffrey school when her daughter was born, and she carried Katie to class in a basket from the time she was a few months old.

When they arrived on campus, both young women auditioned for the Moravian College Dancers, which meets on Monday nights for class and rehearsal. Both take tap and ballet, which occupy two more evenings a week. And ever since the first week of spring semester, when they auditioned dancers for their own pieces and were snapped up for pieces by others, their free evenings and weekends are but a memory.

But they agree that dance is worth it. “Dance keeps me sane,” says Katie. “After a hard day, you go to rehearsal and for half an hour, or two hours, you forget all your problems. Everything goes away except dancing. Otherwise, I’d be burnt out.”

“ It’s something I’ve always done, and I really like performing,” says Amanda. She says she’ll do it again next year, though she’ll probably cut back the number of pieces she’s in. “I did it for so many years, and gave up so much to be able to dance,” she says. “I hate to quit now.”

Student choreographers:

  • Danielle Anderson ’04, Levittown. “Pour Some Sugar on Me” (Def Leppard).
  • Colette Baills ’03, Oakland, N.J. “Die Another Day.”
  • Cathleen Lavelle ’05, Bushkill. “I Love You” (Sarah McLachlan).
  • Amanda Logan ’06, Idaho Falls, Idaho. “Pink Panther” theme.
  • Rebecca Moore ’06, Easton. “Groove Is in the Heart” (Dee-Lite).
  • Dana Patchcoski ’04, Dunmore, and Christine Pukszyn ’04, Center Valley. Selections from “Rent.”
  • Katie Washer ’06, Long Pond. “Me and My Shadow.”

Faculty and guest choreographers:

  • Jill Fitzgerald and Melody Kline, members of T.A.P. “The Shim Sham Shimmy” (Dave Leonhardt).
  • Mary Anne Gillen Hoffman, ballet instructor at Moravian. “Très Bien Ensemble” (Beatles).
  • Pattie Bostick-Winn. “Sing, Sing, Sing” from Fosse.

Guest companies:

  • Coral Nolan Academy, Macungie. “Waltz-Fantasy” (Glinka).
  • Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Bethlehem. Excerpts from Sleeping Beauty, Sylvia, “Country Moon” (Patsy Cline).
  • T.A.P., Easton. A cappella tap by Amy Browne Smith.
  • Allen High School Academy of the Arts, Allentown. “Beg, Borrow, and Steal.”
  • In Motion Dance Company, New York. “Wave Runners” and “Vistas.”

Moravian College Dancers
8:00 p.m. March 28-29
Foy Concert Hall
Tickets: $5
Information: Ext. 1530

March 18, 2003

On the Move:
Two freshman dancers kick up their heels in Moravian College Dancers program
Retrospective of works by Gertrude Käsebier, a pioneering photographer who attended Moravian Seminary for Young Ladies just after the Civil War.
Campus events calendar.
All-campus announcements.
Achievements of faculty, staff, students.
Feeding His Flock:
John Hus Award-winner chosen by Seminary alums.