SRU senior dance majors come ‘full circle’ for final concert


Performers in the senior performance

April 16, 2019

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — After four years of seemingly endless rehearsals and performances - not to mention sweat and probably a few tears - 14 seniors from Slippery Rock University's Department of Dance will take the stage one final time as a group for their senior BFA dance concert, "Full Circle," at 4 p.m., April 27 at Swope Music Hall.

Students in the program are required to complete two capstone courses: the first which took place last fall and was centered on research and creating choreography and performances based on that research; and the dance concert that represents a culmination of the artistic and academic work completed in the dance curriculum.

"In this course, we focus on dance entrepreneurship, dance advocacy, mentorship and leadership, and a few other areas that are very beneficial for the students in the BFA program to know before graduating," said Nora Ambrosio, SRU professor of dance.

The concert will feature choreography and performances by each of the 14 seniors:

• Julia Studer from Huron, Ohio.
• Molly Huey from Warren.
• Olivia Nellis from Glenshaw.
• Kaitlin Kulasa from Belle Vernon.
• Caroline Ready from Allison Park.
• Samuel Elizondo from Watertown, New York.
• Emily Ragland from Cary, North Carolina.
• Victoria Lowrey from Harrisville.
• Victoria Homschek from Aliquippa.
• Shannon O'Reilly from Hanover.
• Sarah DeBiasi from Wilkes Barre.
• Lashonda Johnson from Williamsport.
• Melitta Parzyszek from Dillsburg.
• Hannah Schneible from Rochester, New York.

From dramatic modern dance to high energy jazz, "Full Circle" will present choreography from many different genres as well as a group performance titled "With Gratitude" that was put together by Teena Custer, a long-time SRU guest artist and choreographer and a professional dancer with groups including Ephrat Asherie Dance, Venus Fly Trap and the Get Down Gang.

"I'm looking forward to seeing the students' choreographic visions come to fruition," Ambrosio said. "What I'm not looking forward to is them graduating. It's always bittersweet. I'm excited for them because they're going out and embarking on their journey into adulthood and their career in dance, but it's sad for us to see them go."

Most, if not all, of the department - faculty, staff and students - are involved with the concert, whether performing, working behind the scenes or just enjoying the performance from the audience. "While this may be considered a 'small' concert based on the number of performers, the preparation and execution is big," said Ambrosio. "It truly 'takes a village.'"

Prior to the performance, "Dance For the Camera," a collection of dance videos produced by Jennifer Keller-Birkes' dance technology class, will be shown. Following the concert, senior awards will be presented, as well as the Tom Cobb Award, a monetary award given to a dance major "that shows promise to be successful in the field."

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Smith Student Center Information Desk, by calling 724.738.4926 or online by clicking here. All proceeds from ticket sales go toward Department of Dance scholarships. For more information, contact Ambrosio at or by calling 724.738.2775.

MEDIA CONTACT: Megan Bush | 724.738.2091 |