Essence brings past, present

Essence Dance Theatre will hold its fall concert of dance in Lee Hall Auditorium Saturday at 7:30p.m.

Titled “Retrospect,” the concert will be a collage of original dance works bridging the past and present. Essence will perform various types of dance to depict diverse dance styles to the audience.

Members of the dance theatre said they have put in long, hard practices for at least three days a week since the beginning of the semester to prepare a show worth watching.

“Students pay their money to see a good quality show and that’s what we want to give them.

That’s how we are going to build up a good reputation,” said Margo Rollins, the president, and a 21-year-old senior biology/pre-med student from Lithonia, Ga.

Selena Hall, the rehearsal director, has been making sure each member is upholding optimum strength.

“My job is to make sure the girls are on top of things as far as keeping in shape,” said Hall, a 20-year-old junior literature student from Miami.

Former members of Mahogany Dance Troupe started the Essence Dance Theatre in April 2001.

The name came about when the founders wanted to capture the essence of dance and what dance is all about, Rollins said.

Setting a different organizational pattern from Mahogany, Essence focuses more on the creative aspect of dance.

“Our main purpose is to provide a creative outlet for members to fully expose themselves through creative activity and various dance styles,” said Aeleise Harris, a 20-year-old senior fine arts student from Chicago who serves as the group’s publicist.

Working independently, members of Essence said the organization will strive to achieve one of their many goals for a successful show this weekend: To get students from Tallahassee Community College and Florida State University as well as FAMU to come out and participate.

“The one thing we love to do is network with other schools. That’s the only way we can grow into a better group. We want alliances with other people outside FAMU’s campus,” Rollins said.

Tickets for Essence Dance Theatre in concert can be purchased at the FAMU box office on The Set. The price of tickets is $5.

All proceeds will go toward the preservation of Essence dance group.

Contact Mashae Alderman at