More than a hundred dancers milled around the halls of the Smiley Building on Wednesday night during the final two dress rehearsals of "Just Dance!" by Fort Lewis College's popular dance group Co-Motion.
The group's president Sarah North had the task of running the cast through their paces, twice, with a crew who she said numbered "three or four." She also had to keep them quiet behind the stage.
The show consists of 18 dance numbers, mostly with simple costumes on a stage bare of scenery, so the lighting engineers face an exacting task. The music is all recorded, so timing among acts and within acts was a crucial consideration.
The variety was impressive.
For instance, choreographer Vonita Remington, took her nine dancers through the looking glass in "Wonderland," reserving the central part of the Queen of Hearts turned drill instructor for herself. She was one of the "look at me" performers who was able to take command of the stage.
Another compelling choreographer and dancer is Ammon Swofford, fresh off his droll performance as Mary Sunshine in the college's performance of "Chicago."
Swofford choreographed two pieces and cast himself in the leads (choreographer's privilege).
One was "Flight 409: Welcome Aboard" which called to mind the sexy flight attendants' dance in the film "All That Jazz."
Swofford writes in the program that his alter ego is Alice Glamoure, but he made me think of Tim Curry as Frank N. Furter in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." And his stripey pumps were divine.
Many of the choreographers field substantial casts as in Jennifer Coddington and Brittany Feyen's country dance "You Look good in My Shirt." Twenty-one dancers showed up bare-legged in the outsize shirts of the title.
April Balge's romantic "Navy Boy" features sailors and the girlfriends at a dance, sailors dying and girlfriends returning as angels. A lovely and original sequence.
Many of the choreographers use acrobatic moves, highlighted by Jessalyn Yagunich's "Acrobatic Practice" with flips, cartwheels, somersaults and moves so complex I can't begin to guess their names.
It's a spirited evening for a company that's ready to go.