Dance troupe brings unique flavor to campus

It’s time for a new dance troupe to take center stage.

For the past few months, some former members of Mahogany and Essence Dance Theatres have been joining a dance theater called Restoration.

Dewick Cooper, Restoration’s artistic director, said the 10-member, Christian-based dance ensemble separates itself from other troupes on campus by the way its members carry themselves.

“We operate as a professional dance company … we pray before and after every practice and rehearsal,” said the 26-year-old FAMU graduate.

Cooper is also a member of the FAMU Essential Theatre and actively helps guide the dance theater succeed. “Each of our dances tell a story and has a story behind it.”

Cooper, Sheree Patterson and LaShawnda Datts founded Restoration last fall.

Their purpose, Patterson said, is “to restore the art in dance on campus, which seems to have been lost.”

Patterson, who has been dancing for 14 years and was once a member of the concert choir and Mahogany Dance Theatre last year, now struts her stuff in Restoration.

“I love Mahogany and the dancers there are really talented, but I wanted to do something a little different,” she said.

Restoration focuses on ballet and modern jazz in its routines and is classically trained in the art of ballet, which differs the troupe from other campus dance.

Restoration recently performed a concert in the Bahamas and at the Florida Music Educators’ Association conference in Jacksonville.

It has yet to perform on campus, but plans to make its campus debut in April.

Restoration will be holding auditions to expand membership.

All interested students should put their dancing shoes on and make their way to Tallahassee Community College or Center Stage Dance Studios between Jan. 22 and Jan. 24.

Contact Nyerere Davidson at