With stories of love and loss told through the medium of movement,the theme of “Rise,” the Texas A&M Dance Arts Society (DAS) took to the Rudder Auditorium stage Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. to perform their student-choreographed fall show.

The two-hour-long “Rise” showcase consisted of 15 dance routines performed by a total of 108 dancers, and special guest performances by the Aggie Wranglers and the A&M Femmatas. Kinesiology senior and DAS vice president Meghan Gray has been a member for seven semesters and said she is passionate about how this organization has allowed members to continue following their love of dance.

“Our mission is to continue to give our members the ability to keep dancing throughout college and allow a place for artistic expression,” Gray said. “Dancing is something everyone does whether it's a couple's first dance at their wedding or a grand performance on stage. Dancing brings so much joy to the world and it's amazing to see each artistic vision come to life.”

Each dance was choreographed by a student, who held auditions during the first week of September to pick the best dancers to perform the piece. Many of the routines have stories behind them, such as “Someone You Loved,” a song choreographed by interdisciplinary studies senior and DAS Secretary Mackenzie Clowe, in honor of her grandmother and biggest fan who passed away during her freshman year.

“Creating this piece was challenging at times because my emotions ran high; but each week I came to rehearsal and threw difficult choreography at my dancers, yet they shone like the stars they are each time,” Clowe said. “In this piece we tell the story of losing a loved one, and through our movements we show the love and anger that come with letting go. I wish that my Gigi could be here to see us perform this dance, but I can feel her presence every single time we perform this piece.”

Over the past semester, the dancers have practiced for over 250 hours to perfect the routines they created for the show. Two weeks ago, the officers held final auditions to determine which dances would best represent the organization onstage based off the cleanliness, energy, technique and showmanship of the piece.

“When you are working alongside a group of ladies such as this one, it does not seem like we are even working,” Clowe said. “I look forward to the days that I get to spend hours working, creating, and moving alongside this group of ladies, and I would not trade these hours for the world.”

Dance is an art form that affects everyone differently, computer science senior and DAS president Emmie Davis said, and it can uniquely connect people to music, teaching them to discover more about themselves.

“Our finale song is about learning and growing from things that may bring you down,” Davis said. “Like Diamonds, we will rise out of the dust better than we were before. I think the message of growing and evolving from your past is really important, and is definitely something that I hope the members of Dance Arts Society remember forever.”

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