DTSF Send-off Published on Thursday, Apr. 5, 2012

At Friday’s send-off for the dance scholarship students competing at the Southeastern American College Dance Festival, Dr. Sasser told the dancers he has sent off athletic teams to state and national competitions, but never a group like theirs. Photo gallery

“You’re Santa Fe. What you just did was stunningly beautiful,” he said. “When you use Dr. King’s words, it raises your performance to a whole other level, you’re embodying Dr. King. You have to do your very best.”

And then he commended them for their hard work.

“What I see before me are scholars. I think of all the hours you’ve spent in the studio rehearsing, studying history and technique, and I know you are going to do us proud.”

He also tied in the high level of their work with the Fine Arts Hall facility: “We built this house to honor you, and now you’ve honored the house.”

Becker Holland, co-director of the Puttin’ on the Ritz fundraiser, at which the students recently performed, returned for Friday’s performance before about 30 guests in the Fine Arts Hall dance studio, including people from the community and GTN News. Holland told the students, “You’re pros already.” She also baked them chocolate chip cookies.

Alora thanked the students and said, “You’ve made people cry today.”

After each dance, the students talked about their work and took questions from the audience. “Hour Time” was choreographed by students Rikka Murray and Lo Fail-Godfrey to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

“I know there’s been a lot of inequality in my life, and then you look at what happened with Trayvon Martin, and I’m really upset about it,” said Murray. “Performing this has been really good.”

Art student Paul Newman worked with Murray to design the graphic on the back of the dancers’ shirts, and then he and two other students painted the designs on all the dancer’s costumes.

Our students are dancing their hearts out at the festival through Wednesday.