Cal Poly students will perform at this year's sold-out spring dance concert, "Catalyst", set for this Thursday and Friday.
Cal Poly students will perform at this year's sold-out spring dance concert, "Catalyst", set for this Thursday and Friday.
Cal Poly students are prepared to dance the night away at this year’s sold-out spring dance concert, “Catalyst.”
With performances on May 24 and 25, the concert will feature various dance styles including modern, contemporary, lyrical, ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop and break dancing.
“A definition of a catalyst in the body is something that causes a reaction, so we thought that would kind of incorporate all of the ideas we had for the show,” co-director and kinesiology junior Tyler Ratcliff said.
Sponsored by the Cal Poly Theatre and Dance Department, the spring concert is an entirely student-run and choreographed show.
“It wouldn’t be possible without (the department),” co-director and biological sciences senior Misty Moyle said. “(Faculty member Diana Stanton) oversees everything that we’re doing, but for the most part, all of the work is done by students.”
Not only are the dancers and directors students, but the choreographers are as well.
“Some of them are dance minors, some of them are not,” Ratcliff said. “Some of them have taken dance at Cal Poly and some of them haven’t; some of them are just interested in dancing.”
Moyle and Ratcliff, both dance minors, worked as interns for Orchesis, the dance company, last year, which led them to co-directing the spring dance concert this year.
“(The concert is) an idea of everybody working together and bringing all these different ideas and backgrounds together to create a product,” Moyle said. “The goal is Learn By Doing.”
Although this is Moyle’s first time directing the concert, she began participating in the spring show her freshman year and choreographing her sophomore year.
“I took a dance class my freshman year, and that’s how I heard about the spring dance show,” Moyle said.
According to Moyle, the goal of the spring dance show is to provide the opportunity of dance to Cal Poly.
“Catalyst” will feature 18 dances in various styles, and according to Ratcliff, audience members can expect diversity.
“We have a lot of variety in the styles of dance, in the show particularly,” Ratcliff said. “(Audience members) can just expect to have fun, be entertained.”
Different from Orchesis, the spring dance show has a minimum time commitment of two hours per week, per dance, while Orchesis has a minimum of eight hours per week.
“(The) spring show is totally open to anybody off the street, anybody can come in and dance with us,” Ratcliff said. “We have an audition, but we take anybody. The audition is just for the choreographers, really, to see which dancers they would like to work with.”
Choreographer and food science sophomore Brandon Takahashi performed in the concert last year, which he said made him want to be involved again this year.
“Last year, I just performed because it was my first year of doing it,” Takahashi said. “(This year) I’m choreographing (a dance) which I’m also performing in.”
In addition to choreographing and dancing in the same piece, Takahashi is performing in two other dances.
Like Moyle and Ratcliff, Takahashi is a dance minor. He first heard of the spring show when one of his professors mentioned it in class.
“(Being involved), I got to know more of the dancing community at Cal Poly,” Takahashi said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
Ratcliff said the show is aimed at those who just enjoy dance.
“It’s not a class, it’s just for fun,” Ratcliff said. “That’s the whole point of it — to dance ‘cause you like it.”
Catalyst begins at 8 p.m. in Alex and Faye Spanos Theatre. Both nights are already sold out.

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