Student Group Feature: The Villanova Dance Company

Maddie Schieder, Staff Writer

The Villanova Dance Company and Ensemble performs at various events in the campus community. According to the Villanova website, the company is a select group of dancers who perform at events both on and off campus. They are required to audition at the beginning of the year, attend class twice a week and be present for rehearsals and other events. 

Villanova’s dance group performs personal and creative choreography with numbers choreographed by director Melissa Salcedo and other outside companies. These student dancers perform at annual events on campus such as Special Olympics, St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service and Parents’ Weekend. Additionally, they perform as guests for the Villanova basketball games at designated games throughout the season. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, things have been a little different this year. 

What makes this year challenging for the company is the lack of space they have been able to reserve for rehearsals and classes. In the fall semester, they were granted access to the new Performing Arts Center on the corner of Ithan and Lancaster Avenues, yet the company has had difficulty in the current semester. Andris Lindsay, Dance Company president, explained their experience last semester compared to this one. 

“The PAC in the fall was amazing and such a big upgrade to what we’ve been used to in the basement of St. Mary’s the past three years,” Lindsay said. “The third floor studio has perfect floors, expansive space, an extensive sound system, huge mirrors, windows and more. We were able to have our company dance physically distant and still able to connect creatively. We have always made the St. Mary’s dance studio work in the past, but compared to the new center it is quite small and stuffy, and the floors are nothing like the new Marley we got so lucky to dance on this past fall.”

According to Villanova’s website, “The John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts is a hub for performances, creativity, engagement and exploration for the University’s performing arts community – enriching Villanova’s campus and enhancing educational opportunities across the University.”

Considering the time and effort these artists have invested into their organization, it is difficult for their creativity to reach its full potential due to limited resources. Lindsay also discussed their current circumstances and the significant change in atmosphere for herself and the team. 

“In the current semester, we have unfortunately not been able to access the PAC at all for classes, rehearsals or performances,” Lindsay said. “We have been using the St. Mary’s chapel and a tent in the parking lot on West Campus. Looking ahead, I am hopeful there can be compromise for the underclassmen to be able to use the studio and possibly theatre in the PAC, as we are the biggest dance group on campus.” 

As a senior, Lindsay wishes the best for her team in the future. COVID-19 has impacted the world in many different ways, a lack of resources being one of them. From luxury studios to a parking lot, the Villanova Dance Company looks forward to change in its creative and bright future.