Senior Kenzi Marsh is a Colgate Ballet dancer and a seasoned veteran dancer. She’s been in the world of dance since she was just two years old. A lover of the stage and performing since her very first recital, she now enters her final semester, confronted with the closing of her dance career at Colgate.
“As someone who has danced forever, I was scared I would pick a school that did not have dance or ballet in particular. Colgate obviously does, and now I don’t know what I’m going to do without it. I’m going to miss it so much—not having that weekly and even daily outlet,” Marsh said.
The only thing she won’t miss? The time commitment. Colgate Ballet is a dance group on campus that has a more rigorous schedule than most other groups. They have a professional instructor, Paris Wilcox, come in twice a week to teach classes to the group in order to hone the complicated technique and skill required of ballet dancers. Wilcox teaches full time at Hamilton College and lives in Earlville.
Ballet is known for being a demanding sport—but the group at Colgate spans all different skill levels. The large group, comprised of 12 to 15 dancers, does not require auditions and is open to anyone who wants to try out ballet. The small group, comprised of nine dancers, is more advanced and requires auditions.
This year at Dancefest, the small group’s performance will be choreographed by Marsh and her friend to Clean Bandit’s song “Symphony.” This piece will be an exciting diversion from classical ballet with its upbeat tones.
Outside of ballet, Marsh is involved in a whole host of other dance groups. Throughout her time at Colgate, she has experimented with tap dance, Kumbha, Dance Team and Shock. Nonetheless, ballet unsurprisingly` remains at the top of Marsh’s list.
“Overall, ballet is my favorite type of dance. I like the others because they’re big groups, which makes it fun. But, ballet is where I met some of my closest friends at Colgate, so I think it holds a special place in my heart,” she said.
In looking towards the rest of the semester, Marsh is the most excited for April’s Dancefest. More so than the actual performance itself, she eagerly looks forward to the dress rehearsal as it is the culmination of a shared passion amongst so many students.
“The part of Dancefest that everyone who is in it likes more is the dress rehearsal because your audience ends up being all the other dancers on campus. There is just something about having other dancers watching you,” she said.
Marsh urges everyone to try ballet or some sort of dance group before the end of their time at Colgate. Certainly seminal to her personal Colgate experience, she encourages everyone, even without any sort of experience, to participate in Dancefest.