Dance groups highlight variety of styles

Performance ensembles sway audience members, strike excitement

By Roxana Amparo, Editor-in-Chief

Tango, hip-hop, jazz, ballet, reggaeton and more were on display for “Dance Jam 2017,” showcasing the talents of local dancers.

“Dance Jam” nearly filled every seat in the John and Jean and Knox Center for the Performing Arts on Friday and Saturday, delivering 16 quality performances that left the audience ready for more.

The “Dance Jam” featured dancers from Contra Costa College dance classes as well as local high school dance teams and performance ensembles.

Through each dancer’s movements and the way they carried themselves, they showed their personality.

Every performance started in darkness and silhouettes were the first sight for the audience members. The lights slowly faded on with lighting that would clue the audience into the emotional tone of each coming dance.

The reds intensified the viewing experience and the blues brought a calming sensation.

Contra Costa Zumba Class Stars, choreographed by Zumba instructor Oscar Solano, brought color with the dancers wearing highlighter pink and yellow workout clothes.

Energy filled the house with their playlist “WatchMeWineUp,” as Solano led the group through a well-organized sweat-inducing workout,

The infectious energy was projected with each rapid dance movement as the speed of the mix increased.

It was almost a workout just watching them move to the rhythm of reggaeton, a hip-hop influenced type of music that originated in Puerto Rico.

The rhythmic hip movements and expressions of joy on the dancers faces allowed the audience to shimmy in their seats with the music.

Five young women from Dimension Extensions Performance Ensemble (DEPE) performed dances choreographed by Latanya Tigner. A unique performance of theirs was “Credo,” an excerpt from “As They Light the Way.” They performed four times throughout the night and “Credo” was a big contrast from their previous dances. 

The women appeared on the dark stage with bright lanterns. The spacious, soothing music complemented their movements with the lanterns throughout the stage.

Their dance was reminiscent of magic fairies, with a noticeable whimsy in each movement.

Showcasing musical theater, the cast of CCC’s spring 2017 musical “Godspell,” performed three numbers choreographed by Tigner.

Their performances required singing, so their lack of a microphone affected the audio part of the act negatively. However, cast’s energy shone through with the playful dancing.

“Dance Jam” performances represented various age groups, old and young.

Performers of the Imajik Dance Family danced to “Candy Girl,” choreographed by Brook Payne and Jamar Welch.

The fun dance routine featured three girls dressed in white and pastel pink colors and big pink bows to accentuate the youthful feel. The carefully executed choreography was an exciting moment in the show and generated a strong response from the audience.

“Dance Jam” created an environment for everyone to enjoy themselves and perhaps inspired more students to take a dance class.