"I really like to sing and dance, so [show choir] puts it all into one." In one sentence junior Erin Soller summed up the appeal of the College's new show choir, Spotlight. Soller founded the group last semester with roommate, friend and fellow junior Meghan Roth. Spotlight now has 15 members with one thing in common: they really like to sing and dance.
At the beginning of last semester Roth and Soller knew they wanted to start something new. Roth explained, "We said, let's start a show choir! Let's start a party planning business! Let's go on beach trips!" In the end show choir won out. They had heard of one at the University of Mary Washington (at the time the only college show choir in the state of Virginia), and thought they would be able to start such a group at the College.
The girls prepare all new numbers every semester, choosing from a mixture of current pop songs and selections from musicals, Motown tunes and soft rock. The fall performance included "Popular" from the musical Wicked, "When I Fall in Love," "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "Fever." The spring performance will include "Let's Hear It for The Boy" from Footloose, "Since U Been Gone," "Can't Hurry Love" and "How Sweet It Is to Be Loved by You." For each performance they sing five songs with a tape track and one song a cappella.
Most of the members of Spotlight have previous experience with either singing or dancing. Soller was a member of her high school choir, and she is currently a member of Tribal Dancers and Pointe Blank. Roth has been singing all her life and is a member of the a cappella group Common Ground.
Despite having a musical or dancing background in common (and a love of "jazz hands," as their Facebook group proclaims), after attending a practice itï¿½s clear that Spotlight brings together a diverse group of women. Some excel at dance; others are stronger singers. Some are more outgoing while others are more reserved.
The best thing about the practice is seeing how supportive the girls are of one another. They constantly ask questions to clarify a dance move or help each other out with a complicated step. They applauded choreographer Laura Stoddard, a junior, after she finished explaining the routine she crafted for "Let's Hear It for The Boy." Throughout practices the atmosphere remains "chill," as Soller put it. "But it all comes together [in the end]."
Making it come together takes a lot of work. The girls have to learn their individual singing parts and complicated dance routines, and then coordinate the two without getting out of breath. Soller stressed the importance of having "confidence in our singing and our movement." Just as important is showmanship. "We want people to look like they're having fun," Roth said.
What began as a whim of two roommates has grown into a unique student organization that will surely enrich the College's performing arts tradition. Soller and Roth are so "excited that people [joined and that we have] a group of girls that gets along so well; they have a lot of motivation so it makes it fun."
Spotlightï¿½s spring performance is April 21 in the Commonwealth Auditorium. If you need more incentive to check them out besides the great music, cute dance moves and jazz hands, they also have "sparkly dresses," Soller added excitedly. What more could you ask for?