Seton Hill Presents Spring Dance Festival 2021 Live on the Campus Quad May 8

The Seton Hill University Theatre & Dance Program will present the Spring Dance Festival 2021 live and in-person on the Seton Hill Campus Quad on Saturday, May 8, with shows at 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. 

A limited number of free tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the door. Social distancing requirements will be followed.

The Spring Dance Festival 2021 features works choreographed by Seton Hill faculty and students. 

The pieces include:

To Grieve: What is Felt but not Seen 

Teacher’s Note: Spaces of collective grief are places in which communities can come together to heal. During this difficult time of the pandemic such spaces have been rare given the limitations that we have all faced in terms of feeling truly safe to come together. This semester five students stepped up and used their artistic talents and process to create such a collective space for grieving, feeling and healing. And they did it through the power of dance! As the title states, dance has the ability to reveal what is not felt but not seen. As we move together towards healing it is so important yet difficult to acknowledge the difficult feelings we have all been going through. These young dancers/choreographers are doing the work in creating a place for us to do just that.

Choreographed and Performed by Seton Hill students Tess Stiffler of Penfield, NY; Shelby Walsh of Coraopolis, PA.; Alyssa Frank of New Brighton, PA; Carissa O’Masta of Smithton, PA; and Kayla McCargo of North Brunswick, NJ; under the direction of adjunct instructor Mita Ghosal.


Choreographers’s Notes: Paquita is a ballet in two acts and three scenes originally choreographed by Joseph Mazilier to music by Édouard Deldevez and Ludwig Minkus.  It was first presented at the Paris Opera Ballet on April 1st,1846 and was retained in the repertory of the Paris Opéra until 1851. In 1847, Paquita was staged for the first time in Russia for the Imperial Ballet of St. Petersburg by Marius Petipa, the first work ever staged by Petipa in Russia. Petipa's 1881 additions for Paquita survived long after the full-length ballet left the stage. Today these pieces, particularly the Grand pas classique, are major cornerstones of the traditional classical ballet repertory and have been staged by ballet companies throughout the world. The story takes place in Spain during the presence of Napoleon's army. Paquita is a young gypsy girl.  Unbeknownst to Paquita, she is really of noble birth, having been abducted by gypsies when she was an infant. She saves the life of a young French officer who is the target of a Spanish governor.  Paquita discovers that she is of noble birth and Paquita and the Officer are able to get married. On a personal note, I’d like to say that even though we are presenting a very scaled back version of Paquita due to the pandemic ~ I am so very happy and grateful to be back working with our talented students here at Seton Hill University Department of Theatre and Dance! With everything we’ve been through in the past year, our dancers have risen to the challenge and have done the department proud! Thank you all for that!

Choreographed by Girard Holt, adjunct instructor of ballet. 

Performed by Shelby Walsh of Coraopolis, PA; Alyssa Frank of New Brighton, PA; Samantha Shaffer of Larimer, PA; Madison Porter of Apollo, PA; Samantha Callen of Charleroi, PA; Melanie Frye of Greensburg, PA; and Tess Stiffler of Penfield, NY.


Choreographer’s Notes: Arrived is about acceptance, empowerment, togetherness and community. Through this piece, each dancer was tasked with looking within themselves and bringing out greater versions of their creative voice. Arriving at the foot of their confidence, persistence and hard work, together, we created a dynamic high-energy anthem piece predicated on being the person your dreams demand you to be. 

Choreographed by adjunct instructor Jadell Lee. Assistant to the Choreographer is Shane Wiseman of Elizabeth PA; Student Choreographers are Skyler Hostetler of Summerhill, PA; Brooke Kelly of McKeesport, PA; Angela Emanuele of Greensburg, PA; and Madison Porter of Apollo, PA; and Special Guest Choreographer is Marco Mejia.

Student performers are the choreographers Wiseman, Hostetler, Kelly, Emanuele, Porter, as well as MaKayla Morocco of Rockwood, PA; Kayla McCargo of North Brunswick, NJ; and Sydney Fulton of Freeport, NY.

I’m Still Standing

Choreographer’s Notes:  I’m Still Standing celebrates the life and career of Sir Elton Hercules John and all of the personal and professional hardships he had to overcome. The piece is a compilation of four iconic Elton John songs that depict the start of his career and his rise to fame, his mental health and battle with addition, his determination to fight his way back and the celebration of that success. The dancers in this piece are forever touched from learning about his life and telling his story.

Choreographed by Assistant Professor of Dance TaMara Swank with Assistant to the Choreographer/Student Choreographer DeLaney Swank of Greensburg, PA.

Student performers are Skyler Hostetler of Summerhill, PA; Samantha Shaffer of Larimer, PA; Samantha Callen of Charleroi, PA; Angela Emanuele of Greensburg, PA; Melanie Frye of Greensburg, PA; Brooke Kelly of McKeesport, PA; MaKayla Morocco of Rockwood, PA; Madison Porter of Apollo; Shane Wiseman of Elizabeth, PA; Madison Harry of Greensburg, PA; and Shelby Walsh of Coraopolis, PA.

The student technical crew for the Spring Dance Festival 2021 includes Stage Manager Johanna Nimmer of Libertyville, IL; Assistant Stage Manager and Scene Shop Staff Member Tyawna Meyers of Central City, PA; Wardrobe Manager DeLaney Swank of Greensburg, PA; Light Board Operator and Production Electrician Channing Griffin of Munhall, PA; Staff Electricians Catherine Balaban of North Huntingdon, PA, and Anna Wilson of Latrobe, PA; Production Electrician Corisa Saitta of Bethel Park, PA; Costume Shop Crew Members Ashley Blazczak of Saxonburg, PA; Julianna Eyer of Pittsburgh, PA; Melanie Frye of Greensburg, PA; Zach Gilkey of Irwin, PA; Kenzie Hartnett of Bridgeville, PA; Diante Jackson of Greensburg, PA; MaKayla Morocco of Rockwood, PA; Madison Porter of Apollo, PA; Scene Shop Staff Members Riley Tate of Munhall, PA; Julia Wingard of Pittsburgh, PA: Isabel Papariella of Pittsburgh, PA; Tara Dougherty of Jefferson Hills, PA: Devon Young of Pittsburgh, PA: Christopher Brown of Forestville, MD;, Dale Strelez of Windber, PA; and Scenic Paint & Props Crew members Kailey Campbell of Annapolis, MD;  Tess Stiffler of  Penfield, NY; and Jessie Malone of Ruffsdale, PA.

Professional technical and production staff includes Artistic Director Denise Pullen, associate professor of theatre; Production Manager/Technical Director Caila Yates; Costume Shop Manager Elaine Montgomery; Master Electrician and Lighting and Sound Coordinator Ken Clothier assistant professor of theatre; Box Office Manager Michelle Walters, director of community relations for Visual and Performing Arts; Costume Crafts Consultant Artist Saihou Njie; Costume Designer Lisa Leibering, costume shop director; and Costume Designer for Paquita Beth Miller.