Orchesis Dance Company defines this season with more than dance steps

In two days, Orchesis Dance Company will be on public display when they perform at halftime. What others think and say about them isn’t all that important. What is important is how they feel about themselves. 

Twirls, energetic jumps and exhilarating dance moves pervade dance studio 163 in the Assembly Center as the Orchesis prepare for their season opener against Alabama A&M University on Saturday. 

Dianne Maroney-Grigby, Director, says the dancers have been working hard everyday to prefect their upcoming routines.

“This season, we want to showcase many dancers as possible,” she said before teaching her Zumba class on Tuesday. Dancers are continuing to rehearse until the day of the game. 

“We’ve been working till the death to get these routine down.” 

One of the most important skills for a new dancer is being able to learn the steps of dance routines. Not many people realize how much brain and memory ability is required for becoming a successful dancer. 25 standing dance routines is the magic number required for every orchesis to learn. 

There are over 30 ladies auditioning, but Maroney-Grigsby prefers dancers who are able to catch on fast. 

“Some dancers know without skill, they can’t dance right away,” she said. “You have to work to get there.”

This group of dancers believe they can. A two-year dancer, who asked not to be identified, agrees with Moroney-Grigsby

“It’s great learning experience for new freshmen and for the veterans,” she says. “Practices are going great, I’m working hard to try and make the field.”

The field team won’t be decided till Friday or Saturday, but some dancers know the pressures of last year’s “situation” slightly still looms over them. One dancer states, “were re-focused and re-energized, who cares anymore.” 

They can’t control who likes their dancing, and who doesn’t, the politics of being in a dance company. This group is not wasting time, talent and energy worrying about what the outside world thinks. They will focus on honing their craft and being the best dancers they can be. 

“We try to keep an open mind and a positive attitude,” one dancer said. 

GSU’s Orchesis can’t be everything to everyone.  No matter what they do, there will always be someone in the stadium who thinks differently. Everyone has a past. Everyone has made mistakes, and everyone has glorious moments they want to savor. Of course, if anyone is able to make that transformation, it’s Diane Maroney-Grigsby