Thirty members from the Orchesis Dance Company will be traveling to New York for the annual Black College Dance Exchange (BCDE), which will be held from April 7-10. However, that can only become a reality once financial obligations have been met.
The group launched a massive fund-raising drive in an effort to finance the trip, estimated to cost $17,000, excluding food and ground transportation.
The dance company director, Dianne Maroney-Grisby said the conference is one of the premiere conferences, even for black institutions and brings together students involved in dance for cultural and educational exchanges.
“BCDE meets once a year and we collaborate with our kids and give them technique classes.before we leave each school must showcase a presentation,” Grigsby said.
The event will be held at the world renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, of which Grigsby is a graduate and former dancer. She said it is important that members of the Orchesis Dance Company be given the opportunity to attend to provide further growth and inspiration.
The ongoing fund raising drives include a $1 drive and a post-card sale featuring members of the Argosies Dance Theatre. The public was asked to make a donation towards the upcoming trip in exchange for a post-card.
In terms of the other fund-raising events, Grigsby said things have been progressing slowly.
“We have forty-minutes to an hour show which we can showcase to schools, but we are still waiting on them to accept our invitation.”
While not stating the total amount that has been raised so far, Grigsby said that several potential promises have been made.
In addition, each member will be contributing $300 towards the trip.
Meantime, the Orchesis Dance Company is set to be featured in an energy drink commercial, which the director is hoping will provide some much needed funds for the trip. The trip is creating a wave of excitement among members.
“They are very enthused that they will be at the prestigious Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, which is a billion dollar facility,” Grigsby announced with a smile.
She said that apart from leading her dancers to New York, she’s also responsible for planning the opening night session.
“I have been here (GSU) for a while and we have that problem where kids come in and want something overnight. You have got to commit,” Grigsby said.
She is hoping that at the end of the seminar students will network, learn more discipline and be committed for the long haul, since it takes time to perfect the art of dance.
There are approximately 45 people in the Orchesis Dance Company.