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BC's Country Dancers Take To The Floor

With fiddles warmed up and guitars furiously strumming, Berea College Country Dancers took the stage in the Old Seabury Gym for their tenth annual convocation performance.

Scenes from the annual Country Dancers Convocation.

The dancers performed several numbers during the convocation which was divided into sections and included dances from all walks of life.

The first set was composed of English Country Dances, which were popular from the 1600s to the 1800s in Europe and the United States. Next came "The Danish Connection," which has been an integral part of the Country Dance program since it's beginning in the 1930's. Morris and Sword Dances have been performed by working people in Europe from the 1400s to the 1800s at festivals. They celebrate the change of seasons and make use of the instruments of their labor to create interesting dances.

The Country Dancers brought it all back home with their set of Appalachian Dances, including square dancing and clogging, which embody the community spirit and support for the individual Berea College espouses.

"Not only do our dances require teamwork, but there are so many behind the scenes activities that we must work together on," commented Joni Murray, a senior who has been with the dancing group for five years. Senior Rhiannon Chamber who has only been with the Country Dancers for one year, said "It's like being part of a big, inclusive family. Everyone is just wonderful. Itís the best family ever! What is the hardest part? Having so much fun!"

Molly Spring, also a senior, has been a Country Dancer for four years, and shares bonds with her fellow participants outside of the costumes and practices. Her fondest memories of being with the group include a particularly memorable journey. "My road trip with three of the Country Dancer graduating seniors from Berea to Niagara Falls to Maine tops the list! The fondest memories aren't necessarily the dancing part of the group, more of the close relationships with the people in the group."

Through all the fun, there are still challenges. Rose Goble, a sophomore and first year dancer, commented, "We just got back from a week tour in Henderson, Kent. Although we had three back-to-back performances a day, we had fun and still managed to have a good spring break. We can't wait to go to Mexico in June!"

National Dance Week is right around the corner, April 22 through May 1. For more details on events or dance programs, please contact (859) 985-3431 or 985-3142.

Led by Jenna Holmes, the following students participated as dancers in the convocation: Rustem Almassov, Bemene Baadom-Piaro, Shiblee Barua, Rhiannon Chambers*, Vusal Emenli, Rose Goble, Justin Grewe, Jessica Harman, Amanda Hess*, Miranda Hileman, Luke Keeler*, Chris McKenzie, Narine Mkhitaryan, Joni Murray*, Clint Pinion, Fred Rweru, Molly Spring*, Khurshed Tajibaev, Priya Thoresen, Rebecca Trembula*, Virginia Triplett, Rachel Yates.

*denotes senior status

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