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Escondido and Valley Center represented at Spring Dance Concert

The future of North County is making waves in the arts community

Island by Brian Gerke with rehearsal direction by Anya Cloud. A Guest Artist Choreography with CSUSM students.

Island by Brian Gerke with rehearsal direction by Anya Cloud. A Guest Artist Choreography with CSUSM students.

California State University San Marcos is a big part of community growth in North County as several students relocate to the area in order to attend college at the University.

The campus has developed an amaz­ing School of Arts department dedicat­ed to nurturing the arts and developing artists. Often times connecting these growing artists to resources beyond a school setting to find careers within artistic fields. In order to gain public view, the school annually hosts dance performances that feature guest artists and students who take part in the cre­ative process.

Within the dance department at the School of Arts Dr. Karen Schaffman (dance artist) and Anya Cloud (dance maker) have been nurturing young men and women in health, physi­cal development, memory skills and movement education. At the begin­ning of May every year they host the Spring Dance Concert at CSUSM of which they currently proudly featured two amazing performers who happen to call Escondido and Valley Center home.

“I know two people in the perfor­mance and thought it was awesome. I just had to come see it,” said Rose­anna Garcia of Escondido, a biology student at CSUSM.

Cierra Potts and Angelina Vasquez were among the more than 30 men and women who came together to cre­ate this versatile dance performance that included contemporary, modern, contact dance concepts combined with ballet, hip hop and improvisation. Not necessarily in that order.

This year’s performance had a much stronger sense of struggle and strength. Performers were challenged with strong movement that required both stamina and precision. Unlike last year’s performance, this two-night show had more uniformity in motion and combined choreography that cel­ebrated unification with improvisation and randomness.

I can honestly say that in the four years that I have taken part in view­ing this performance and the way the school encourages movement and self-discovery, no two performances are ever exactly the same. As Profes­sor Cloud continues to say, “We are always in our present bodies and our present bodies are never in that same exact moment ever again.” Our ever- changing bodies should always be em­braced.

“I was in three of the spring concerts over the years and one of the fall con­certs while here. I love being

Escondido resident Cierra Potts with her dad and roommates as they show their appreciation for her talents with bouquets of flowers.

Escondido resident Cierra Potts with her dad and roommates as they show their appreciation for her talents with bouquets of flowers.

involved in the dance program because I CAN BE ME. It helps me to open myself up to new people, create bonds, friend­ships, families… and to trust myself and to push myself… and to always keep my mind creative. I plan to con­tinue my contribution in these perfor­mances for the next two years,” says Angelina, a psychology major with a minor in dance and criminology at CSUSM who proudly represents Val­ley Center. Vasquez is currently a ju­nior at the University.

“I was in three performances for this show,” said Cierra Potts, they were all during the second half of the show and back-to-back. “I felt ready to per­form and fabulous about this years show.” Potts is a human development and counseling major and dance mi­nor who resides in Escondido. She has recently moved to Escondido with friends who attended the show to ex­press their support in her craft as Potts aspires to continue dance profession­ally beyond her education at CSUSM. Currently she teaches dance at Big Kids America in Carlsbad. “I want to start my own company and establish an after school and retreat program for youths,” stated Cierra, as she plans to reside in Escondido for quite some time.

“The performance was amazing. It invoked a lot of emotion. I have at­tended shows in the past and have seen Cierra perform for them here. We came to give our support. I’m a dance show supporter; what can I say,” said Jessica Schwartz, a friend and roommate of Potts. “I’ve lived in San Diego County all my life.”

“I liked it. It was very intense and entertaining and fun. I would definite­ly come back and love theatre,” said Sophia Kumara, who took pleasure in experiencing the Spring Dance Con­cert for the first time.

This year’s opportunity to experi­ence the Spring Dance Performance has come to an end, but keep your eyes out for the Fall Dance Concert that takes place in November and the next Spring Dance Concert that con­tinues to take place in May. The dance department at the School of Arts at CSUSM has great plans for the future so stay tuned for even more amazing opportunities to experience dance per­formances live and locally.


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