Last week the Thacher Dance Ensemble traveled to Santa Barbara to perform at the Lobero Theater as part of Santa Barbara City College's Fall Dance Concert, Collective Collaborative. The mission of the Collective Collaborative is to bring the dance community together and foster relationships with other dance companies. The Thacher Dance Ensemble—comprising Isabella Damon '20, Emmy Daro '19, Sophia Fung '17, Samantha Hollins '19, Sarah Liu '20, Yosephina Peters '18, May Walton '18, Grace Zhang '19—joined twelve other dance companies from Southern California to put together a beautiful night of dance. The group performed a piece entitled Acceleration choreographed by program director Gallia Vickery.
Of the experience the girls wrote:
We had been working towards our Lobero performance all fall, and to finally be able to perform on that stage was wonderful. Although different from our own familiar Thacher audience, it felt good to reach out to a wider community. Watching the other groups and companies perform was also truly enlightening. I could appreciate the work and skill they put in their pieces, and they inspired me to work towards a higher level in dance in my last year at Thacher and hopefully in college.
I'd like to thank Ms. Vickery for guiding us, teaching us, and most of all, pushing us this past trimester. It goes without saying that it wouldn't have been possible without her, and I really appreciate the hard work and dedication that she puts in for us to become the best dancers that we can be.—Sophia Fung '17
Having the opportunity to perform at the Lobero with other dance companies was so rewarding because I had the chance to see other choreography and was able to realize how many talented dancers there are. I would love to be able to do something like this again if given the option!—Isabella Damon '20
I think it was extremely valuable to perform alongside dancers as talented as the ones at the showcase. It made me realize that the world of dance outside of Thacher is immensely diverse and talented, and I loved being exposed to that in the way that we were.—Emmy Daro '19
The Thacher Dance Ensemble is always impressive to watch at Thacher. But to see the dancers perform at the Lobero Theatre, in a foreign environment, fitting right in with university-level dance companies, was truly amazing. The audience was breathless. And it wasn’t just us parents. The Thacher Dance Ensemble had the perfect balance of grace and strength in every beautifully choreographed movement of Acceleration.
The experience of performing in a "real world" professional setting is so important for the dancers to validate their craft. They also gain so much from watching the other companies preform.—Karen Hollins (Parent of Samantha Hollins '19)