Spring Swing Cafe captivated audiences

dancers in line on stage

Students perform ‘Lightning Strikes,’ a modern dance routine set to Jorge Quintero’s song ‘300 Violins’ at the recent Spring Swing Cafe. Brandon Howell | Washtenaw Voice

By TAYLOR ROBINSON
Staff Writer

As the rain and wind pelted against the glass of the Morris Lawrence lobby windows, WCC’s

dancers on stage

Dancers perform ‘See the Sea,’ a ballet choreographed by WCC instructor Noonie Anderson, set to the song ‘By the Sea’ by Wayne Gratz. Brandon Howell | Washtenaw Voice

Performance Workshop Ensemble class took the stage and put the audience in a far-away place, forgetting about the weather.

The group opened the show for the school’s Spring Swing Cafe on Monday, April 20. As the jazz orchestra performed songs such as “What’s Going On?” by Marvin Gaye and “All of Me” by Frank Sinatra, the crowd swayed and clapped along.

Shortly after the group performance, audience members began to file into Towsley Auditorium for the rest of the evening’s show. WCC students and alumni, and Washtenaw community members performed a series of dances and solo acts.

Performing arts instructors Noonie Anderson and Gayle Martin and their students were behind the choreography for the dances. The students have been working on them throughout the semester, and Anderson added that the dances are original.

“Every semester, Gayle and I choreograph new material for the students. We present a minimum of three to five concerts a year,” Anderson said.

dancer sitting on stage

Bihanna Martin, a 16-year-old student from Ypsilanti, performs a piece choreographed by her mother, Gayle Martin, titled ‘Try.’ Brandon Howell | Washtenaw Voice

While some instructors might have a set routine, Anderson likes to switch it up and make sure that all of her students are on board with the performances.

“A lot of times, what I do is I’ll have a couple pieces of music I’d like to choreograph, and I’ll play them for the kids,” Anderson said. “I have this one rule. If one person in the room says they hate it, then we don’t use it because then we’ll have to listen to it for the next eight or nine weeks.”

High school students throughout the Ann Arbor area and Lake Orion participated in the event as well. The Lake Orion Colorguard danced with batons and flags to the song “Summertime” by Kat Edmonson. PatchWerk Dance Company’s

male dancer in skirt dancing on stage

22-year-old Trevon Callahan, of Ypsilanti, performs a routine set to the popular Sia song ‘Chandelier.’ Brandon Howell | Washtenaw Voice

performance, titled “Toys,” included a number of different artists.

Anderson is always captivated by her students’ dance and musical talents, and there’s no better way to showcase them than to hold a concert right on WCC’s campus.

“By and large, it progresses really easily, and it’s really enjoyable,” Anderson said.

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