Students choreograph sweet dances

Ben Saderholm '12 cradles Molly Ridout '10 in the improvisational swing perforance in this year's Cookies in a Dance Jar. - Robert Logan
Cookies in a Dance Jar lent some sweetness to pre-hell week this semester for students facing a perhaps uncertain academic future. “I think that [the creator] just wanted to dance and eat cookies and share it with everyone,” said co-organizer Julie Podair ’12. Tessa Cheek, who serves as Arts Editor for the S&B, also co-organizes.

The event allows student choreographers and dancers to share their work in an informal, student organized performance. It was a kind of cookie in itself, composed of a variety of acts. In the past, it has included more traditional ballet as well as modern and other styles. The diversity continues this year, according to Podair. “I think that we have a lot more diverse dances than in the past,” she said. “We have the swing, the bellydance, jazz and then modern, which is cool.”

Sofia Carpio Leon ’12, performed the show’s bellydance solo. “[Cookies] motivates students to choreograph and come up with something,” Leon said. “It started with the purpose of creating a space for students to present their choreographies and to motivate students to dance and do choreography. It encourages all kinds of dance.”

The audience sits on platforms level with the stage and watches the performance while being plied with a variety of cookies—which moves towards an explanation of the show’s name. “When people come and see the performance, there’s cookies that they come and eat and watch dance,” Podair said. “That’s why it’s called cookies in a dance jar, so it makes sense.”

For the first time, Cookies in a Dance Jar includes a swing portion which fits well into the informal aspect of the show. “We asked who wanted to be in it, we chose two songs, and then we improv-ed everything else,” said swing dancer Karin Bursch ’12. “[The] dancing was excellent. Alex [Exarhos, my partner] didn’t drop me or anything.”

Some swing moves involved flying across the stage. Bursch and Exarhos executed an original aerial maneuver called the ‘Half-Karin’ in which Exarhos catapults Bursch into the circle of dancers. “The other one is the full Karin,” Bursch said. “But we didn’t do that one because it’s dangerous…I’m not doing it on fricking tile the first time.”

The event aims to allow for all kinds of expression, from the serious to the comedic. “[Cookies] adds to the cultural part of campus life,” Leon said. “People come up with really creative things. It’s a really cool event.”

“It’s like a really fun atmosphere just to see what your friends have been doing, just on their own,” Podair said, “to be able to see what they enjoy doing and share with them… and eat cookies!”