Performing this Weekend: Sept. 19-21

With school back in full swing, everyone is looking for something exciting to do this weekend. Be sure to look into these events near you!

Turtle Island Quartet

As part of the Ohio University Performing Arts Series, the Turtle Island Quartet will be performing on Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Baker Center Theatre. The two-time Grammy winning group explores all different music styles from jazz, classical, and different world music styles. Tickets are $5 for students, $8 for seniors and $10 for the general public.

Turtle Island Quartet will be performing on Sept. 22 at the Baker Center Theatre. Photo via Ohio University Performing Arts Series.

Phillip Phillips

Season 11 winner of American Idol will be performing at Playhouse Square in Cleveland on Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. Phillips will be playing all his popular tunes from “Home” to “Gone, Gone, Gone” and newer hits like “Where We Came From.” Ticket prices range from $20-$49. Visit PlayhouseSquare‘s website for more ticket information.

Phillip Phillips, photo via PlayhouseSquare

The Kaplan New Works Series: Presented by The Cincinnati Ballet

With choreography by Jennifer Archibald, Heather Britt, Victoria Morgan, Amy Seiwert, William Whitener and music by various artists, The Kaplan New Works Series is sure to excite audiences with innovative and exciting modern dance choreography. Showings will be on Sept. 19 at 8 p.m., Sept. 20 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sept. 21 at 2 p.m. at the Arnoff Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Ticket prices start at $45.

The Kaplan New Works Series, presented by the Cincinnati Ballet, will be performed at the Arnoff Center Sept. 19-21. Photo via Cincinnati Arts.

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Caution! Putnam Hall under renovation

Over the summer, faculty and students were shocked to find water damage in room 134 of Putnam Hall, the largest dance studio which doubles as a theater for Division of Dance performances.

Luckily, action was taken quickly and renovations on the floor began on Aug. 27. It has been estimated to take at least four to six weeks to replace the floor. Until then, classes will be held in the studios on the third floor of Putnam Hall and at the auditorium at The Ridges.

During the deconstruction of the floor the construction crew made an interesting find. A ballet slipper was found under the floorboards. Dance professor Marina Walchii revealed that it was placed there by Beth Davis Moffett when the floor was installed in 1975 according to the Division of Dance.

Putnam 134 floor replacement under way. Photo courtesy of The Division of Dance

Ballet slipper found under the floorboards of Putnam 134. Photo courtesy of The Division of Dance.

Look for more updates about the progress of the floor in Putnam and the location of dance performances this semester coming soon.

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Advice for incoming Dance Division freshman

Sophomore Dance Majors pose with  modern professor, Chengxin Wei

Sophomore Dance Majors pose with modern professor, Chengxin Wei

Entering a college classroom for the first time is intimidating, especially when that classroom is a dance studio. Each freshman dancer is coming from a different background and has no idea what to expect when they walk through Putnam’s doors for the first time. But don’t fear Class of 2018, the current and former Dance Division students have shared some of their advice below.


“Always keep an open mind” – Sydney Sanders, Sophomore BFA

“College, the faculty, and other dancers can easily overwhelm you and seem intimidating. Take a breath and have no fear. This is a place for all of us to come together, do what we love and grow together. Step out of your comfort zone and have fun” – Corrine Bailey, Sophomore BFA

“Appreciate your Division of Dance family because they will make Putnam your home away from home, but also make sure you have people you can go to when you need space away from the Putnam hullaballoo. Also, in college it’s cool to get involved and be active and participate. Be the youest you” – Kelly Schlabach, Senior Dance Minor

“If a Bachelor’s of Arts (BA) degree is more flexible for you and more of the direction you want to go rather than a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts (BFA) degree, there’s nothing wrong with that! There are so many opportunities in dance; Physical therapy, Yoga, Pilates, health, production, media, videography, arts administration, dance educate, etc. And most importantly, when things get stressful, remember that dance is your passion and it’s supposed to be fun!”- Jasmine Shafley, Senior BA

“Focus on yourself in class, and how you can improve your abilities. It’s not a competition in college, it’s about yourself.”- Becky Sebo, Senior BFA

“Let go and be willing to step outside your comfort zone to explore and create new things. Be willing to be there to give encouragement and support to others when they need it. There are going to be times when you need some positive vibes to keep you going. Lastly, never lose sight of the reasons you love dancing.” – Grace Nicklos, Junior BFA

“First year composition class is sometimes stressful because it might be new to you but stay positive about it and be serious because it WILL help you in the long run.” – Kristyn Lein, Sophomore BFA

“Realize that you have something to offer. Too tall? Not for someone. Too stumpy? Not for someone. Too uncoordinated? Not for someone.” – Leah Crosby, Senior BFA

“You’re you and that’s awesome. But try someone else’s awesome. Give that a go. Master someone else’s  work. That’s versatility. If you never try, you’ll never know. If you never experience, you’ll never grow.” – Kaitlin Flynn, Senior BFA


“Don’t be afraid to film yourself! This will help with your Senior Seminar (BFA) class a lot!” – Alexandra Plantinga, Alumna (Class of 2014)


“No dance form/style is better than another. Dance is extraordinary because it is always changing, people are always creating, value what you create and stand behind it, take criticism…its what makes you grow, be a sponge..soak up all the knowledge you can! Work your ass off and love every minute of it because its over before you know it!” – Lauren Daidone, Alumna (Class of 2014)


As for my tip: Let your passion for dance guide you in all aspects of your life, not just in the studio. If you like another subject (say journalism for example…), see how you can bring the two together. Be creative and forge your own path!

Keep these tips in mind and we will see you in Putnam!

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In Defense of the Dance Major


Wonderful piece about the value of being a dance major!

Originally posted on shannondoolingdances:

after the rain

After the Rain – the first piece I choreographed at DeSales University, in 2005

Several months ago, I heard two interesting reports from NPR’s Planet Money team that focused on college majors and jobs – why people decide to pursue particular tracks of studies and the careers they hold as a result  As might be expected from a program entitled “Planet Money,” both of the these reports focused heavily on the economics of such decisions. Specifically, “What’s Your Major” took a look at the relationship between college majors and salaries, and the title of “Why Women Like Me Choose Lower Paying Jobs” pretty much says it all.

One topic that came up often as the various economic experts tried to justify why someone wouldn’t choose a more lucrative college major and career was “passion.” On some level, I think that is absolutely true. Some of us do make such…

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New Movement Organization website released

Check out The Movement Organization’s new website at  to learn more about the organization, its executive board and upcoming events for the 2014-2015 school year!

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AWAKE(N) brings together a community of artists

“Hello, my name is Kelly Schlabach. I have a big laugh. I have blue eyes. I have clinical depression but I am an optimist,” says junior Social Work major Kelly Schlabach as she stands in front of a full room telling the story of how she almost committed suicide.

Schlabach and other performing artists including dancers, singers, musicians, artists and poets at OU came together during AWAKE(N), an immersive arts experience, to use their art as an outlet to celebrate life and bring the message of hope and the idea of overcoming struggles to anyone who is going through a difficult time in their life.

AWAKE(N) included over 20 performances by students and local artists. The event took place at Central Venue in Athens on April 10 and was hosted by Post-IT! and The Movement Organization.

The Movement Organization is a student organization at OU for any students who are interested in any aspect of dance whether it be performing, watching or choreographing.

The Movement Organization helped plan the event and Movement members Alli Bradley, Curtis Johnson, Grace Nicklos and Kaitlin Flynn also performed dance or movement pieces at AWAKE(N).

“Post-IT! is a new organization that aims to raise suicide awareness and mental illness awareness and prevention through any medium of arts that we can access,” said Bethany Logan, junior Dance major and President of Post-IT!. Members of Post-IT! write messages on post-it notes and place them in different locations around campus.  

During AWAKE(N), audience members were able to place post-its with words of encouragement around the venue.

Logan and other members of Post-IT! reached out to students interested in sharing their stories or performing at the event. They also reached out to local businesses including Brenens, Donkey Coffee, Insomnia Cookies, Wings Over Athens and Habibi’s to donate food and coffee for AWAKE(N). 

“I decided to get involved because I think sharing stories is a really important part of the human experience, and surprisingly enough, you don’t often get the opportunity to get together just to share experiences,” Schlabach said.

Among the performers were Dylan Sams and Mitchell Toler who performed a cover of the song by The Mountain Goats “This Year.”

“Mitch selected it especially for one line that’s repeated throughout the song: ‘I’m going to make it through this year if it kills me’,” Sams said. “It’s about perseverance and sticking through adversity. The intention is to express the message that if there is a person going through an extremely rough time they always have the potential to  push through.”

Logan said that Post-IT! is all about creating a community and coming together to provide support to those in need.

“I love that the whole community present at AWAKE(N) was so supportive. I felt incredibly safe sharing my story at AWAKE(N) and received a lot of support and positive responses,” Schlabach said.

Check out the video below for more information and photos from AWAKE(N) and see the audio clip below to hear Schlabach’s full spoken word piece about her triumphs and trials of chronic depression, “Depression with an Optimist.”

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OU Technical Director keeps productions running smoothly

John Bohuslawsky, technical director for all Division of Dance productions, works hard to make sure that all productions run smoothly. Below is a video I created in 2013 highlighting Bohuslawsky’s work.


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