2010 Fall Dance Concert

Jimmy Edwards-Turner

When pharmacy technician major Emily Otero signed up for dance class on a whim, she didn’t expect to be a part of a Cerritos annual tradition.

The college’s 2010 Fall Dance Concert opened on the night of Nov. 4 with much applause ringing through the Burnight Center Theatre for the students of this semester’s 33 dance classes.

Otero is one of the newcomers that were given the chance to perform in the show.

“This was my first dance class and my first dance concert, as well,” she says.

When her instructor, Maha Afra Haddad, decided to include the entire class in the concert, Otero was one of many students excited to hear the news.

Afra usually holds auditions for performers to be a part of the show, but she decided to use the opportunity to display her students’ talents.

Otero recounts, “I was very hesitant about everything at first because I didn’t even think I had rhythm.

“But Maha taught us four new dances this semester, and half of us started out with no knowledge of dance.”

If the audience could tell the performers were amateurs, it did not show it. Adulation and applause was offered after each of the 18 parts in the two-act concert.

However, even though the crowd seemed to enjoy it, the greenhorn dancers had shaky faith in their performances.

“The audience seemed a little tired to me,” underclared Richard Silva says.

“I was pumped since this is my first time performing here at Cerritos, but I feel we all put in a lot of effort for this show.

“I want to come back [Nov. 5 and Nov. 6] with more energy, enthusiasm and stamina, and I want to entertain as many people as possible.”

 With styles of dance ranging from ballet to tap to modern hip-hop and cultural steps from regions all over the globe, including Latin America, East India and Africa, director Janet Sanderson aimed to make the concert a diverse one.

Administration of justice major Mariano Mena/Chapa, says, “We have to keep the audience entertained and interested, but we can expand its knowledge too.

“There are so many different kinds of dance out there. We showed so many that there were some I didn’t even know about and it amazed me.”

Sanderson, also chair of the dance department, included guest artists in the show, with four pieces performed by Cyclo Dance, Danza Immix, the Ken Dance Company and Maha & Company.