Cabrini a stage for dance company

By Noelle Westfall
April 13, 2010

The contemporary dance company practices one of their routines for the upcoming show. photo by Noelle Westfall

Choreography, music and glitter. The Cabrini Contemporary Dance Company brings these things together to create their dazzling routines and performances.

The hard work and dedication of the members of this dance group began two years ago as Alyssa Frieze and Renee Banson, artistic director, decided to give Cabrini the taste of a different type of dance organization.

Two years ago, Frieze, a senior business administration major, remembers thinking, “We do have a team that dances for the basketball team, but I’d really like to dance for an audience. Something with costumes and glitter and makeup, so we got together.”

Now Frieze is the student choreographer and manager of The Cabrini Contemporary Dance Company, originally called The Cabrini Dance Ensemble.

The Dance Company promotes itself around campus at events like Accepted Student Day and also with flyers. Meeting each week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 5 p.m., the group tries to work around students’ availability. There is a $50 fee to start up with the dance company.

“I’m really happy they have it because without this I wouldn’t be able to dance as much as I use to do” Corinne Piotrowski, freshman elementary education major and company member, said. “I’m used to competing, traveling, going to competitions and my parents are really happy to come and be able to watch me again. It’s really exciting to be able to dance on a stage for my parents again.”

“It’s a lot of fun,” Melissa Phillips, sophomore business administration major, said. “It’s difficult because we don’t have a lot of people, but it works really well. Everyone gets along really well. We do modern, ballet, lyrical, jazz and basically all different kinds.”

Throughout the past two years of dancing and making a name for themselves around campus, the Cabrini Contemporary Dance Company has strived to bring students of all different dancing styles and levels together.

“I’ve seen a lot of growth. I’m very, very impressed with the girls especially since some have only had a few years experience, so they really work very hard and they’ve done a lot,” Banson said.

“We’ve also expanded to doing a lot of different types of genres, so they’re really stretching themselves in a lot of directions. I would like to have some more members to the Company and I’d like us to be able to have more time, so I can really help the girls develop their technique. I’d really like to get off campus so we can get out into the community.”

The Cabrini Contemporary Dance Company will be putting on an hour-and-a-half show featuring many acts, including an Indian dance company. Many of the members of the Company are especially excited for the modern lyrical trio routine, “Steer,” to be performed. The show will be on April 24 at Norristown Arts Hill during an all-day festival and on April 25 at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Cabrini College Theatre.

“One of our mission statements is really the diversity of the dance company,” Banson said. “We want as many different things as we can, so if anyone has something that’s unusual or a cultural dance that we don’t normally do, we welcome that.”

Students with questions about The Cabrini Contemporary Dance Company can contact Renee Banson at

Noelle Westfall

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