I must because we haven’t : Dance performance highlights a movement for social justice


Talula Cedar-James

Company 1 Dancers Rahma Ahmed, Britney Birch, Tae N., and Emmalise DeBlieck perform the dance “Stories of Education” at the Fall Dance Performance on November 13 and 14, 2019. “Our project began with each dancer choosing a social issue that they deeply cared about and had some experience with in their life. Dancers partnered with other dancers who shared a connected topic, eventually dancers formed small groups and began to create their masterpieces of choreography on their social issues…Finding others to create art around their issue allowed them to have a sense of safety and empowerment, supporting each other in the process of speaking out,” said dance teacher Nancy Nair in the program for the event.

Maya Edmonds and Norah Austin



Description of Dances:


Mi Historia de Immigracion: The Children

Company 1 and 3 Dancers : Iris, Esli, Jackie, Kate Sosa

“Our group chose to focus on the injustice children go through regarding abuse and immigration. 3 0f the 4 dancers in our group have experienced the deportation of a very close family member. We all share the negative impact that comes from families being separated. We are telling our personal stories of abuse and neglect that have come from government control dictating where our families should live according to their obsession with borders. In this piece, we share our journey through our personal style, capturing moments of our experience in movement.”


Until this World Falls

Company 1 Dancers: Grace McHugh, Violet McMahon

“This piece aims to bring your attention to your own impact on the world. By portraying the Earth as a person, we wish to show the relationship between our world and the the individual. We hope to make you, as our audience, more conscious of your impact on the Earth and its environment.”


A Girl’s Voice

Company 3 Dancers: Lily Haltom, Jocelyn Ferguson, and Amelia Kroesch

“We choreographed our dance to bring attention to sexual assault and the many emotions that go with it. Our main goal is to show the emotional stages of an assault within a relationship from the female’s perspective. Out of reported cases, 4 out of 5 rapes are committed by someone known to the victim.”


Finding Power In We

Company 2, Choreographed by guest artist Andy Mor

“This full ensemble piece explores letting go of pain and suffering, one step at a time and finding power in ourselves as we embrace a stronger, whole version of ourselves”


I Am Because We Are

Company 1 Dancers

“This dance draws from West African traditional dance styles blended with pedestrian movement that shows the simple connections in everyday life. In our togetherness, find the flow of life that pulls us joyfully through the monotony of our day to day.”


You Don’t Know

Company 1 Dancers: Amaria Johnson, Allyson Maxwell, Lily Lacombe

“We support survivors of sexual harassment of any forms. We also want more awareness and understanding of how serious and common sexual harassment and sex trafficking is in our world. Today, hundreds of thousands of human trafficking victims are thought to be working in exploitative conditions in the US.”


It’s Not Our Fault

Company 2 Dancers/Choreographers: Nathalie Jensen, Lila Allgood, Helena Koame

“Our piece is showing young girls and women’s struggles with body shaming, sexual assault, and double standards. The stories we tell hurt us in the past but now we want to show those without voices that you are not alone.”


The Stories of Education

Company 1 Dancers: Rahma Ahmed, Britney Birch, Tae N., Emmalise DeBlieck

“Our piece represents the right to learn, to grow, to change and the right to education. This dance shows our personal stories through solos as well as duets. We want the audience to leave with a new understanding of the meaning, “the right to education.”


Youth in Unity

Company 2 Dancers: Sammie Stever-Zeitlin, Noa Simon-Latz, Jane Rodine-Turner, Alessia Giarratan, Jeivan Caban, Victor Alejandro-Galicia, Besso Frauenheim-Danke, Tigist Frauenheim-Danke

“The purpose of our piece is to show how even through struggle, people can come together in a positive way. No matter what’s wrong, we can join in unity.”



Company 2 Dancers: Mia Frober, Maggie Plouffe, Reese Walts, Taro Jelinek

“We chose our topic ‘putting up mental walls’ to express the idea of isolation as we grow up and shutting yourself out.”


Fancy Shawl and Jingle Dress Dance

All Nations Dancers: Ogi Moose, Waabi Moose, Aniah Smith, Krista Boblink, Javier Heibler

“Jingle Dress is a healing ceremony Ojibwe dance from from Mille Lacs Nation. It comes from a vision to heal. Fancy Shawl is a women’s dance for welcoming home their men from war. Warriors would come home from battle, shell shocked, and the women family members would receive them by covering them with a blanket. Families would be so happy to have them back that they would dance with the blanket. Dancers are said to resemble butterflies.”


You Cannot Eat Money

Company 3 Dancers: Noah Kuklinski, Shayla Courteau, Olivia Sather, Aje Enestvedt, Echo Waugh, Matisse Bolstrom

“The purpose of our dance was to get in peoples faces about the issue of climate change. We want to make people think and reflect 0n the ways they reflect their environment. Since climate change is such a huge issue, and encompasses many smaller issues, we decided to focus on consumerism. We collaborated to create an essential question to guide our choreography; will you let greed destroy us? Our dance depicts consumerism as a group of dancers, the earth as another, and a human moving between the two. Through our piece, we created a narrative with movement and emotion. Our hope is to convey the urgency and destruction of this issue, and to spark a change in our audience.



Company 2 Dancers: Clara Conry, Deisy Cervantes, Logan Waugh, Molly Rheel

“We feel like as a generation growing up in a post 9/11 world, we have become indifferent to tragedy. When all we see on the news is death, we stop becoming shocked when more bad things happen. With our movements we try to convey teens feeling the immediate repercussions vs. the delayed repercussions of damaging events. How, over time, we almost become numb to the things that used to feel like the end of the world.”


21st Century Homophobia

Company 1 Dancers: Anna Jimenez and Louise Kelly

“Our goal is to portray the struggle against homophobia for people in the LGBT community in modern day. We created a dance that showed the effect of having a supportive friend group and/or partner, but a homophobic parent and/or wider community.”


A System of Disease

Company 3 Dancers: Izzy Spiess, Sarah Meek, Violet McMahon

“The purpose of this piece  is to reveal how capitalism  impacts people, specifically those affected by the AIDS crisis. Corporate greed empowers those who thrive in capitalism to exploit and degrade those who don’t. This piece is a call to action for the South community. We’re in desperate need of a revolution, and we seek to highlight that through the narrative of the AIDS crisis.”


Connection Kills Capitalism

Cecilia O’Connor and Thea Somdahl

“Capitalism forces us to take roles given to us and bleeds us of our creativity and individuality. We are forced into an isolated society where the rich rule and the people suffer. This dance about the weight of our roles and breaking free from the mold.”


Love that Hurts

Company 3 Dancers: Haakon Anderson, Beck Dziedzic, Sahara Jama, Alaiyah Nelsen-Tobechukwu, Simon Baker, Cocoa Meza-Gardner

“Throughout this piece we explore the aspects of an abusive relationship through three stages. Stage 1: The honeymoon phase. Stage 2: The physical abuse stage. Stage 3: The mental effects stage.


Violent Nights

Company 1 Dancers: Zaraia Fabunmi, Ava Tuthill, Shanice Cox, Jahnese Jones, Daisha Jackson

“Our dance is about the experience some of us have had with police brutality in our families and communities and abou the violence we have all experienced in one way or another. We are exploring the feelings of worry, fear and wondering if your child will ever come home at night. We pulled it together with a hopeful resolution, showing how community can support us in the struggle against violence and oppression.”



Company 3, choreographed by guest artist Andy Mor

“This piece explores collective, courage, pride and purpose, togetherness, freedom, peace, survival and reawakening.”