This leader is happiest when in motion
Senior members of the YSU Dance Ensemble, including its president, will premiere original works at the ensemble concerts Friday and Saturday.
Among the choreographers are Alisa Mae Fockler of New Philadelphia, Sarah Terlecki of Youngstown, Melissa Becker of Poland, David Moore of Grove City, Pa., Pamela Koehler of Boardman, Joni Bertin of Youngstown, and Bret Gensburg of Lordstown.
Rachel Peteritis, ensemble president, of Niles, is graduating this spring with majors in theater and English and a minor in psychology. Last year she choreographed a piece to Metallica's "Enter Sandman."
What's in store
This year, she's using a collection of guitar music for a modern piece related to mothers and daughters. She will also be dancing in four of the works, including a duet with Fockler, vice president of the ensemble. Here's what she had to say about her experiences with the dance group.
Q. What are your duties as president of the ensemble?
A. If Chris [Cobb] needs something done, I receive the first phone call. I take care of some of the business end of the group, and I am the liaison between student government and the ensemble.
Q. What do you think the strengths of the group are?
A. The diversity of the group is phenomenal. The ensemble is truly an organization for all students. We not only have variation in personalities and backgrounds, but also, we have members with no previous dance training to members with years of teaching experience.
Q. What do you enjoy about being part of the group?
A. All aspects: the performing, the people, the music. ... dance is my escape; I am always happiest when I am moving.
Q. What are some of the challenges?
A. As a choreographer, learning to adapt movement styles and technical levels is very challenging. But it is also one of the most rewarding experiences to see a number of individuals eventually fuse into a working group that you shaped.
Q. Do you plan on using your dance training after you graduate?
A. Yes, I want to continue performing, and I hope to possibly do children's workshops as well as incorporate dance as a means of therapy in a counseling program.