By Maria Perry |Staff Writer|
Dance, an art form built on expression, has braced the CSUSB campus through the University Dance Company (UDC).
Janys Antonio, the current director of University Dance Company, has been with the company since it first started in 1991, when she was the co-director. Antonio became the director when the former director, Sarah Boeh, left in 1995.
Janys actually came from a family with a lot of champion swimmers.
Before she got into dance, Janys was a swimmer until she got a serious ear infection. “I got pulled out of the water and sent to the dance school that was next door to the swim club,” she said.
“History was made,” Antonio was classically trained in ballet, but also loves lyrical jazz and story-telling dance.
What she enjoys most about being the director of the dance company are the dancers themselves. She loves seeing the hustle and bustle of dancers showing their creativity. UDC has a large variety of dance from ballet to hip-hop to jazz.
Most clubs and organizations have goals that they would like to achieve. University Dance Company is no different.
“UDC is a community outreach organization that gives students and dancers in the community a chance to dance, choreograph, and perform,” said Antonio.
She also explained that some alumni of the company have kept in touch with her and some of the members. The club also has many benefits to the dancers. UDC gives everyone a chance to dance and create a family among the fellow dancers. Janys explained that she always wants to include everyone and not limit the skill level to advanced or professional dancers. The creation of a family among the dancers would create a network that makes this possible.
The dance show that stuck in her memory the most was the show that dedicated a special tribute to the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
UDC thought of taking a leave of absence from the show because of how much the dancers were devastated from the events. The show was being hosted in Fall so it came right on the heels of the 9/11 attacks but UDC kept going to rehearsals and subsequent performances.
The Fall show ended with a tribute to the victims of 9/11 and went dark with a single spotlight on a New York Fire Department helmet in the center of the stage.
UDC also won numerous awards including SLD’s Outstanding Event that year and recently the Dedication and Service to the Dance-A-Thon held by the Housing and Residential Life.
Dancers in the company prepare year-around for the annual dance show on campus located at the Performing Arts building.
This year’s dance show called “Instadance” is on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 23 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Antonio really looks forward to it because there will be lots of new dancers and a variety of dance genres.
She can’t wait for the audience to see the pictures she assigned each choreographer to create their dances from and how the picture was incorporated in each dance.