April 27, 2012
Volume 63 | Issue 20
THE PACE PRESS SERVING PACE UNIVERSITY’S MANHATTAN CAMPUS SINCE 1948
University Prof. Pat Woodward passes at age 62 Woodward leaves a 40 year legacy at the University OLIVIA BETETA Arts Intern
photograph by Kirk Woodward
Performing Arts Department staff and adjunct faculty member Patricia Woodward passed away April 2 at the age of 62. Prof. Woodward received her Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Arts from the University in 1976. As a University alumna, she began working as a secretary at the University shortly after graduating. Prof. Woodward began teaching at the University and quickly became a vital member of the University’s community. Over the 40 years Prof. Woodward spent at the University, she built a name for herself. She was known as a firecracker and it was her fiery personality that attracted so many people towards her. Chair of the Performing Arts Department, Jorge Cacheiro, remembers when he first got the job at the University a year ago. Cacheiro said, “One of the first things people asked me was have you met Pat yet? It’s because Pat had this vital life force in her and I think it is because she really loved her job.” Prof. Woodward was more than just a member of the Performing Arts Department, she was the heartbeat. Director of the BFA Acting Program, Grant Kretchik, described her as “a recruitment coordinator extraordinaire.” In addition to teaching acting classes, Prof. Woodward was in charge of recruitment, first year advisement and graduation audits. She would see students as they entered the department and as they left and she also personally knew many of the students and built relationships with them. A memorial service for Prof. Woodward was held April 9 at Central Presbyterian Church in her hometown of Montclair, N.J. In addition to her work as a professor and administrator for the Performing Arts Department, she was a member and leader of the Torchbearers Club here at the University. She was responsible for the theater group at Central Presbyterian Church and directed programs at both Montclair High School and Clifton High School. Woodward often commuted into NYC from her home in Montclair with Professors Bill Offutt and Nancy Reagin. It was on those train rides that the three had been taking together for over 10 years that a friendship emerged. Both Prof. Offutt and Prof. Reagin can attest to the pillar that Prof. Woodward was within the community not only at the University, but also in Montclair. Prof. Reagin said, “[Woodward] helped to ‘hold up the sky’ in several communities: the range of her interests, responsibilities, and friends was staggering”. Prof. Offutt felt much the same way. Prof. Offutt said, “It is hard to describe all the ways our lives intersected—taking the train together, working on advising students together, seeing her at the high school at shows she helped direct. The number of different things she was able to do—all at the same time— staggered me, as well as the quality with which she did them.” Everyone who knew Prof. Woodward discussed her amazing ability to take on vast amounts of work and somehow manage to complete it all with poise. Through her dedication to the University and the craft of acting, Prof. Woodward left a great impact both inside and outside of the University community. With her immeasurable devotion to her work, she grew to develop many relationships with students and faculty alike and she will be greatly missed. A great friend and teacher to many, Prof. Woodward was also an avid “Lord of the Rings” fan and an Anglophile. She was an incredible actress and singer and starred in many shows. She played guitar and loved to garden, but all of that comes
Woodward Memoriam continued on PAGE 5
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April 27, 2012
The 10 most hated companies ranked in the U.S.
List based on customer service and overall consumer satisfaction, explores the core of popular companies SARAH AIRES News Intern In recent months, many large American corporations, have come under fire for their treatment of employees, customer service skills and soaring prices. The website 247wallstreet.com, that provides business analysis and economic reports for American and Global economic markets, compiled a list of the “10 Most Hated Companies in America.” The list discussed why the companies have received negative press and why Americans have become angry over their business practices. The site ranked 10 companies, taking several different factors into consideration, including overall customer satisfaction, customer service, costs of services provided and negative or positive connotations associated with the branding of the companies. 247wallstreet.com also factored in media coverage over the past year, University of Michigan American Customer Satisfaction Index, Consumer Reports and JD Power to helped compile the list. that occurred in March 2012. American Airlines has been heavily criticized for their poor customer service reviews. An article in the Wall Street Journal compared airlines and ranked it the worst in customer service, on-time arrivals, departures and missing baggage. According to the article, American airlines canceled 70 percent more of its flights than United Airlines and Delta Airlines. American Airlines was rated lower on the American Customer Satisfaction Index than Southwest Airlines, which has also suffered from poor satisfaction reviews.
Facebook is constantly berated for the constant layout changes, backhanded security tactics and the negative press Mark Zuckerburg has received for his business practices. According to CBS news, as of Feb. 2012, Facebook has reached 845 million active users. The social network has also been criticized for the amount of personal information they make available to outside investors and companies, limiting the amount of privacy that can be expected for someone looking to open a Facebook account. Some students at the University are also becoming increasingly critical of the Facebook trend. Freshman Tessla Donovan said, “Once people are on Facebook, they now own every single thing the person puts up— photos, information, etc. to sell to ad companies and things like that so I think it’s really interesting that more people don’t react to that. If I had known that when I created my Facebook page five years ago, I wouldn’t have even made one.” Other students, however, feel much less bothered by Facebook. “I honestly do not understand the major problem people have except for all the changes with them as of recently,” sophomore Leah Staggs said.
AT&T became the largest wireless phone service provider in the U.S. in March 2011 when the company decided to purchase T-Mobile for $39 billion in cash and stock, as reported by Bloomberg.com. Even though Verizon still has the largest number of service users, AT&T has been working to combat Verizon’s growing numbers, but customer service reviews have been hindering their growth. JD Power and Associates named AT&T the worst service provider for wireless telephone care and service. Legislators also criticized AT&T for the T-Mobile buyout, saying that the company was working to monopolize the wireless telephone industry and would cause prices of wireless service to increase. With AT&T and Verizon being the only large service providers in the U. S., Consumer Reports has also ranked AT&T as the worst in service quality. Despite the overwhelmingly negative reviews of AT&T, there are some fans of the wireless service, including freshman Opal Vadhan. Vadhan said, “I personally like AT&T coming from another phone service provider, I have great service with AT&T and it rarely ever loses connection or drops my calls.”
Nokia stock fell down 50 percent within the last year, according to 247wallstreet.com. It is expected that Nokia will lose their post as the most
8. JOHNSON & JOHNSON Recalls of Johnson & Johnson products over the years, particularly Motrin and Tylenol for adults and children, have officially begun to hurt the corporation’s sales. In March 2011, the Food and Drug Administration took over several manufacturing warehouses for the company due to the recalls. Third quarter sales of their over the counter medications plummeted 41 percent in 2011. Customers’ mistrust of Johnson & Johnson products has negatively affected their sales and customer reliance.
5. GOLDMANN SACHS Goldmann Sachs reached an all time high pinnacle in negative press when the government sued them for $550 million after accusations of fraud. Goldmann is at the forefront of several lawsuits over mortgage the bank sold with an estimated worth of $18 billion. The Goldmann Sachs controversy helped spawn the Occupy Wall Street movement, which blames Goldmann Sachs for many of the bad mortgages and failed investments of the middle class.
2. AMERICAN AIRLINES American Airlines filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in Nov. 2011, but has now released plans to merge with U.S. Airways in an attempt to compete with the United Airlines and Continental Airlines merger
widely used handset wireless phone after it tied for lowest overall satisfaction in JD Power’s 2011 Wireless Traditional Mobile Phone Satisfaction Study. Nokia has tried to improve customer relations, including teaming up with Microsoft, but it’s anticipated that Samsung will be the company to replace Nokia as the No. 1 handset maker on the market.
9. SEARS Sears shares have dropped 60 percent in the last year after the company merged with the already bankrupt Kmart. In a report by Sears, it was announced that their overall gross sales dropped six percent during the five week long holiday season ending in Jan. 2012 and after this announcement, Sears declared their plans to close over 100 Sears and Kmart locations. Sears is currently making efforts to end their return policies during a retail war with Target in a last effort to help customer relations according to the Toronto Star.
6. BEST BUY According to the list, Best Buy shares have dropped 30 percent within the last year. While Amazon.com, one of the largest rivals of the electronics company, ranked at the top of the list in the 2011 Retail Satisfaction survey, Best Buy did not make the Top 20. Best Buy customers have been weary of shopping at the store ever since Best Buy ran out of products ordered for the Christmas season and failed to notify customers until hours before the holiday in December. It comes as no surprise to sophomore Krisy Lin that Best Buy has been named one of the most hated companies in the U.S. “Best Buy has the worst customer service,” Lin said, “It took me weeks to get a new computer when they sold me a broken one and it was under the warrant [sic]. I won’t ever shop there again.” “Best Buy and I have a lovehate relationship at the moment,” sophomore
7. BANK OF AMERICA Customer service surveys have consistently ranked Bank of America poorly. In Sept. 2011, Bank of America laid off 30,000 employees amidst a scandal involving a $10 billion lawsuit that the American International Group filed against the bank, which BoA failed to mention to
10. NETFLIX Netflix shares were a record $305 per share, but fell to $90 from July through October. Netflix began as a DVD based film company and gradually made their way into streaming online. In 2011, Netflix raised their prices after the company decided to split costs of DVD distribution plans and streaming plans, angering many of their customers who searched for alternatives to the company. According to the company’s third quarter earnings reports, the constant confusion over pricing and the raising of subscriber’s fees caused the loss of nearly 810,000 customers. Netflix stock lost 62 percent in the second half of 2011. Before the pricing conflicts, Netflix held one of the highest customer service ratings. The company has since retracted the price changes in an effort to assuage disgruntled customers. “I understand why Netflix can be [on the list] because of all the price changes and different announcements by them lately have made it tough to afford and confusing for their customers,” Staggs said.
April 27, 2012
Manhattan’s rental apartment rates skyrocket economy’s continuing fragile state. Its rate of recovery has not matched inflation rates. Although the rental rate spike is drastic in this short amount of time, some New Yorkers are not particularly surprised by the increase. Sophomore Jakina Lumaj said, “I’m not surprised one bit. Due to the current economic situation the country is in right now, it doesn’t shock me.” Citi Habitats reported the current rental rate of the average apartment in Manhattan to be $3,418, roughly $400 more than the previous record high recorded in May 2007. Currently, $3,418 could earn New Yorkers a luxury studio in Greenwich Village or a two bedroom as far up in Manhattan as Inwood. Although New York is not the only state being affected with increased rental rates, given the high cost of living within the five boroughs, the increase will affect many who already had a difficult time supporting themselves. Even though New Yorkers may have a hard time adjusting to the
NICOLE MORALES Copy Editor Intern Rent in Manhattan has reached its all time high according to Citi Habitats. It was reported that the average rental rate has increased 6.5 percent, a hike that surpasses pre-recession levels. The rental spike is the result of the ever fluctuating economy’s supply and demand curve. More New Yorkers are beginning to stray away from buying apartments and instead, opting to rent them. The sales markets for homes in New York have not been the same since the housing market crash that helped create the current compromised economy, causing a limited credit market for mortgages. This is one of the many red flags New Yorkers face when buying real estate. This brings the rental demand to an all time high, much to the advantage of the landlords. As a result, rental rates increased sharply early last year with a sudden six percent hike. Part of the reason for the increase is because of the
increase, students are equally affected. The increase will without a doubt affect room and board prices. Considering that dorms rates are calculated on an eight month basis, the price comes out significantly more expensive than an apartment. Sophomore Ashley Santiago agrees stating, “Dorming in the city for [less than] nine months costs $16,000, but for one person to get an apartment it [costs] just as much for 12 months.” Surprisingly enough, vacancy rates remain unchanged for the most part. Despite the rental spike, it seems New Yorkers are doing all they can to keep to their homes. Although it is unknown how long the economy’s current state will last, it seems New Yorkers will have to prepare for the inevitable rental hikes, especially in coveted neighborhoods. As long as the credit market remains limited, the demand for rentals in Manhattan will just continue to increase along with rates for rentals.
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April 27, 2012
University mourns the loss of beloved Pat Woodward continued from PAGE 1 secondary to the amazing leader and companion she was. Prof. Woodward’s long-time friend, adjunct professor of Entertainment Business, Mary Ellen Bernard, described her best. Prof. Bernard said, “In theater we talk about triple threats, people who are actors, singers and dancers. Well, Pat could act, sing, dance, write, direct, produce, do costumes the list goes on. She could create with such style and organize with such practicality that you’d wonder how any organization could possibly get along without her showing everyone how it should be done.”
Poem by Erin Woodward, Daughter
Woodward and friends rehearsing for a show at the University in the 70’s.
Pat’s tables. Her dining room table, her desk, her director’s table The kitchen table. To live and learn with Pat was to sit with her at some table. Early morning, Emerald Isle, crossword and coffee. Patio table, porch table, coffee table. Each start and end of Pat’s day involved a table to carry the thoughts, cares, worries, opinions and joys. Meals, scripts, cakes, laptops, mugs, plans, plans, plans. Over each table she reigned, sharing life and laughs with anyone who joined in. If you sat at her table, you were in for it all. Fortunately for us, she had approximately eight tables across at least four states from which she held court. We were blessed to sit with her, next to her, across from her.
Words from Mary Ellen Bernard, adjunct professor of Entertainment Business: I met Pat in 1972 at the very start of my college career when I was brand new to New York. I had arrived early to audition for my first school production. Pat was there just to watch and hang out. She was funny, smart, loud. My kinda gal. I remember her introducing herself—raising up her arm and putting it around my shoulder literally taking me under her wing.
Woodward and Mary Ellen Bernard at cabaret. all photos provided by Mary Ellen Bernard
“Pat Woodward gave so much joy to her students, friends, family, colleagues, and to countless audiences who saw her work. It’s a blessing to have experienced her joy, and, through knowing her, discovering my own. I’ll miss you, Pat.” — Colton Childs, Senior “I was a transfer student so I got to work very closely with her because she basically handmade all of our schedules...She single-handledly helped me graduate—she was the reason that I graduated because she had done all of my schedules and every single time I had a problem... like the major turning points in my career here, I was always going to Pat. She was sharp as a whip, and I really miss her and she was fantastic.” —Brandon Gabriel, Alumni
Pat was everyone’s teacher, coach and director. She influenced so many of us. She truly put her stamp on the world. There’s no forgetting that she was here. She made such a strong impression on so many people: not just her family, but all her many friends, her communities near her home in Montclair and at Pace, and all the young people she taught and advised and directed and mentored. Some say it takes a village to raise a child. Pat was a very important part of that village.
Words from Dr. Nancy Reagin, friend of Pat Woodward: Pat Woodward was a neighbor, colleague and friend of mine. Occasionally, we’d just sit together and grade assignments, stopping to read aloud a striking passage in an essay or to comment on something the student had done. More often, we’d just chat and banter for an hour. Pat was an easy person to talk to, with a sly sense of humor and outstanding common sense. She was smart, lively, and trustworthy. If things were tough at work that month, she was someone I could vent to and she gave shrewd advice. I hope I was the same for her. I know that others will talk about her crucial role in the performing arts department, so I’ll mention here that she was also a pillar of her community in Montclair. Pat was active in our high school’s performing arts program too. Every year she directed the high school’s musical showcase, and my daughter and many of her friends benefitted from Pat’s skills and care. When someone like that dies suddenly, it leaves a huge hole in our community and in our lives: her loss has been a shock. But we were blessed to have her as a teacher, colleague, friend and neighbor.
April 27, 2012
The Clocktower Gallery takes viewers to the old west OLIVIA BETETA Arts Intern Resting high above the municipal courts of 108 Leonard St. sits the Clocktower Gallery. Those lucky enough to discover this treasure are immersed into what seems like another world. The gallery encompasses the entire 13th floor of the building. Visitors who step into the gallery can only be compared to entering a wonderland. The cold, rigidness of the floors below are lost and suddenly an all-encompassing marvel is found. Founded by head curator Alanna Heiss in 1972, the non-profit gallery has been bringing often overlooked art to New Yorkers for over 40 years. Each room of the gallery is unique with at any given time there being four artists in residency, each with their own room to do whatever they would like. The first room is filled with hanging abstract pieces in bright cotton candy colors. It is the work of Caroline Cox and with her installations called Spin. She used acrylic balls and vegetable packaging mesh to create unusual, slightly recognizable shapes that draw viewers into her pieces. In the next room, Alaina Stamatis shows a video of one of her classes. Stamatis recently held a wild bird watching class in Lower Manhattan and before that a yoga class for pregnant women. Each performance is a warped version of an actual class, referred to as Strife Lessons. The point of her surreal lessons is to expose the audience to a traumatic experience in hopes they will leave changed for the better. Her next class will take place May 3 at 7 p.m. and is meant to be a self-defense lesson open to the public. The most astounding part of the gallery is by far the current exhibition entitled Canyon Candy. The exhibit is an engrossing installation with a matching soundscape. The installation is meant to accompany a western-themed music video, which at a staggering 16 minutes, would better be described as a short film. The video is the work of filmmaker Mike Anderson and the band Javelin. The gallery’s website describes the installation as, “Spaghetti westerns, cowboy fashion, and the sights and sounds of the Wild West.” It was those sights and sounds that inspired Javelin to create a theme song for the video. To get to the video, viewers must travel through the installation, which is like traveling through the old west featured on the screen. The installation depicts some of the scenes of the video and places viewers in the middle of the set. Stepping into the exhibit is surreal as the lights are dimmed and the sounds of the desert at night block out any other noise. A simple room becomes a cabin and stepping out of the cabin, viewers enter a canyon at midnight, complete which sand dunes, coyotes and cactus fields. The dark accompanied by the soundtrack is a truly frightening
experience at times and it is a relief to reach the saloon style viewing room. According to the gallery’s website, “Canyon Candy is part of the Clocktower Gallery’s Music Video Program, launched in March 2011 with Collapse Into Now Film Project, organized by Michael Stipe of the band R.E.M. “The program aims to address the many intersections between music and art production, and to immerse the viewer in both the processes and mythical environments created by these intersections. Taking music and set production as starting points, the viewer is able to more fully experience the video or album, and further examine where these sparks may lead.” The video entrances viewers within moments. After just a few minutes, it is impossible not to be completely absorbed in the silent film. The western story is paired with conceptual art and the soundtrack fits in seamlessly. After being in the installation watching the video with such a similar set makes the video feel that much more real. The gallery is a must see and is only a 10 minute walk from the University,. It is one of the few places in NYC where someone can actually escape the city and enter the old west. Open Tuesday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., it is surely an easy way to kill time between class and at the low cost of free.
Canyon Candy exhibition featuring a coyote on a cactus.
Tupac Shakur makes a surprise appearance at Coachella music festival NICOLE MORALES Copy Editor Intern The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival held each spring in Indio, Calif. never ceases to wow audiences with their lineups and the often legendary performances they host. This year’s most innovative and publicized performance was one which caught audiences by surprise. Reinventing the art of live performance were Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre as they shared the stage with a hologram of a dear old friend. In the style of Elvis’ recent “American Idol” performance, the late rapper Tupac Shakur did an impromptu set with his former Death Row label mates. Although live holograms are growing in popularity, Shakur’s performance at Coachella had a different feel from that of Elvis’ performances. It was almost eerie to see the likeness of a rapper infamous for prophesying his death years before he was murdered in 1996. As the main stage lights blacked out, the only thing that could be seen was the glow of the fog lights as mist rose from the stage. Suddenly, the opening melody of “Hail Mary” began, followed with the hologram soon after. The performance was incredibly lifelike. The image of Shakur now nicknamed the “PacO-Gram” even managed to yell “What’s up Coachella?!” although Shakur died years before the first ever Coachella. Though Shakur only stuck around on stage for a few songs before disappearing into the mist, his performance left
fans stunned. The exact logistics of how original words and stage movements were fathomed from an old smoke and mirrors trick is still unknown. The only thing that is known for sure is that a projector beams onto a mirror placed on the stage, which then reflects onto a screen to give audiences a 3D sensibility. While some believe an actor helped portray parts of it, others believe computer animation aided in the project. The idea was Dr. Dre’s vision, costing him between $100,000 and $400,000. The “Pac-O-Gram” garnered so much press and positive reaction that Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre are contemplating bringing Shakur on tour with them. To some, the idea comes off as opportunistic, where Dr. Dre has transformed a late friend into a cash cow, so to speak. However, to many it’s a way to experience a legend over 15 years post-mortem in his holographic glory. Regardless, the idea has sparked interest in the possibility of reviving other late great artists like Jimi Hendrix, Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson. Although, Shakur has been dead for over 15 years, he has been “living” on in his timeless lyricism and thanks to Dr. Dre’s vision; he may be able to live on in a holographic image. With music as a collective whole losing its quality, companies and artists alike may think to bring along a holographic friend. With the success of Shakur’s Coachella performance, many may soon jump on the band wagon, using holograms as a way of the future of live performances.
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Editorial correction: In the memoriam for Patricia Woodward printed April 18, 2012, the statement that read, “As a University alumna, she began working at the University in 1990 and became a vital member of the University community,” should recognize that Woodward began working at the University before 1990, spanning over 40 years of involvement and dedication to the University community.
April 27, 2012
Internet companies turn to mobile-based start-ups for success HILDA ADENIJI Creative Director As smart phones have become a daily tool for many, companies are trying to get involved with consumers through mobile applications. First developed as productivity extensions, mobile apps now range in various categories from games and social media to business and productivity tools. Recently, the successes of startup mobile applications have managed to capture the attention of huge companies. In February, game creator OMGPOP launched the Pictionaryesque mobile gaming application Draw Something. This app allowed users to sketch images from words they were given on their smart phones for their friends to guess and gain points. In approximately nine weeks, Draw Something had officially gained 24 million daily users, making it the number one mobile application in 85 countries. A recent study conducted by Mbaonline.com compared the growth of this application to social media business by the rate in which
they each gained one million users. According to the information, AOL took nine years, Facebook took nine months and Draw Something took nine days. Eventually the success of this mobile application was recognized by social networking game company Zynga who acquired Draw Something with founding company OMGPOP for $180 Million. Another application that achieved similar success was Instagram, a mobile photo sharing app. After much success with the Apple mobile market, Instagram finally opened its software to Android users. Notably, on the day that Instagram launched on Android OS, it gained one million users in 12 hours. Following the Android launch on April 9, Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion. The current trend seems to focus on social mobile applications. With a high potential of growth, proven by the recent achievements of mobile applications, many companies are looking into the mobile market for success.
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Other Interesting Social Mobile Applications: Pinterest a virtual pinboard, already popular on the Internet, is adapting its ability to share and organize to the mobile application market too. Flipboard is an iPad application that turns the links shared by friends on Twitter and Facebook into a magazine. Sonar is a social networking app that uses data from Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook to introduce you to people who share your interest and friends. Spotify this music streaming application allows control and variety which isn’t available from its main competitors.
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April 27, 2012
Student dancers captivate in third annual Dance Out Loud
A tap inspired number that helped to kick off the show. OLIVIA BETETA Arts Intern The University celebrated the third annual Dance Out Loud recital on April 20 and 21 in the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts. The recital was the perfect way to cement the University’s first year with its new commercial dance major. Dance Out Loud featured over 35 dancers from both inside and outside the University community. The stage was taken over by all types of students whether they were dance or philosophy majors. In just under an hour and a half, Dance Out Loud managed to cover almost every type of dance, from hip hop and tap to contemporary and ballet and showcased the incredible skills of everyone involved. The director of the show, Rhonda Miller, opened the show by taking a moment of silence for the untimely deaths of performing arts professors Anne College Students New Lommel and Patricia Woodward. Through this difficult time, Miller urged all the
dances to “be fiery” for Woodward who was known for her high-energy persona. Miller’s directing was truly spectacular and brought out the skill of every dancer. It was Miller’s efforts in correlation to the work of all the choreographers and stage technicians that helped showcase the talent. The entire show was an up and down emotional journey. It started with high energy with lines of chorus girls kicking and shaking as they acted to engage the audience in the show. Later it switched to more lyrical pieces in which the dancers were doing more than just moving in time with the music but acting as well. In one of the longer pieces, titled “Before and After,” a couple is torn apart by their peers. The entire performance was gripping and heart breaking. It is just one of the many instances in the show were the artistry of dancing is exposed. In almost every dance a story was told without any spoken words. The dancers Grads relied solely on their ability to move to tell the stories. It is because of the mass
A 50’s style dance entitled “Moxie.” photos by Olivia Beteta | The Pace Press amount of talent every dancer had that this was successful. A big part of the emotional experience came from the sheer fact that each dancer seemed to truly be enjoying their time on the stage, and it showed. The show was a masterful blending of music and dance. The recital seemed to show dance through the ages. There were pieces that were reminiscent of the ’60s and ’70s and then pieces that showed a more current style of dance. Throughout the show, the music fit flawlessly with the dancing, adding to the performances. Dance Out Loud is unlike many other similar shows. Students not only got to be a part of the show, but actually got to contribute their own choreography. For many students, like graduating senior Ashley Williams, it is a chance to practice what they hope to do after graduation. Williams was able to help choreograph many dances including “Last Dance,” a piece that featured her and 14 other male dancers gyrating to Donna Summer’s “Last Dance.” She was decked out in a gradation
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cap and gown as images of her time at the University played on the screen. The dance was a way to honor her time at the University and say a final goodbye before she leaves. Williams, a double major in commercial dance and psychology feels the whole experience is bitter sweet. Williams said, “I’m really excited but it’s sad that’s it’s over for me…I’ve been here since it’s started back in my sophomore year.” Williams, like many of the other dancers, love Dance Out Loud for the opportunity it offers for students to be really hands-on. Williams said, “This is really great because I get to showcase what I love which is not only dance, but choreography.” A fellow commercial dance major Madison Embrey was also heavily involved in the recital. Embrey a sophomore was in ten pieces in addition to helping choreograph, “Anything You Can Do” with junior and musical theater major Brett Thiele. Embrey said, “It was very humbling to be surrounded by such amazing performers, choreographers, and technicians…What’s so amazing about the dance program here at Pace is that our faculty is not only giving us incredible choreography to perform, but they are also allowing us, as students, to wear so many different hats. To go from dancer to choreographer was really exciting for us and we learned so much.” Dancers like Williams and Embrey are ones who the freshmen in the program look up to. Their dedication to dance and the department is an inspiration for people like Juliette Nieves. Nieves, although only a freshman, was featured in all of the hiphop pieces and loved the experience she got from the show. Nieves said, “I was inspired by other dancers to push myself and end up in all the pieces like Madison [Embrey] and Ashley [Williams].” With all of the time and effort that went into each piece, it is impossible to deem a single routine as the best. It was a spectacle to say the least and the entire crowd was buzzing afterwards. One thing everyone could agree on was the incredible amount of talent featured both on and off the stage.