Step By Step

Art of Life — Produced by Karen Smyles

In January, Rider University held an audition for emerging choreographers. The competition was open to any choreographer who was in the early stages of his/her professional career, and the school received over 52 applications from as far away as England. It was very difficult narrowing that number down, but fifteen were invited to audition their works on Saturday, January 18th, before a very prestigious panel of dance artists and professionals. The panel consisted of Edward Villella, former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, Douglas Martin, Artistic Director of The American Repertory Ballet, Dr. Kimberly Chandler, Rider Professor, and Kerry Gallagher Rowan, Curator of The American Dance Legacy Institute.

On audition day, five choreographers were selected and invited to show their works in the Rider University Emerging Choreographers’ Showcase. The purpose of the project is to showcase aspiring dance makers and provide a platform to develop their artistic voices, as well as an opportunity to present and develop an audience for their work.

Art of Life takes you behind the scenes of the audition and returns to watch a few of the finalists in the creative process, preparing for the showcase. We learn about the making of movement and how dance has become a very important part of the extensive arts focus on the campus of Rider University’s Westminster College of the arts.

Rider University Presents the Emerging Choreographer’s Showcase

Saturday, May 3rd, 7:30 pm, Rider University’s Bart Luedeke Theater. The event is open to the public. The six final choreographers include Ted Thomas and Frances Ortiz, Thomas and Ortiz Dance; Alyssa Derling, Derling Dance Arts; Nicole Bugge, Bugge Ballet; Alyson Laury, Alyson Laury Dance Co.; Robert Mark Burke; and Jillian Davis. Their pieces range in style from ballet to modern dance. Tickets are available online at . For questions or more information email

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