Passion for movement and music

In the aftermath of their fall show, UW-Eau Claire Concert Dance Company members shared what influences their routines and their commitment to the group

More stories from Ta’Leah Van Sistine


Photo by Gabbie Henn

The CDC has two performances each year, one in the fall and one in the spring.

Music has an effect on the mind and body. Sometimes a lyric or note latches onto the mind and guides the body to move.  

For members of the UW-Eau Claire Concert Dance Company, music inspires their choreography and the themes for their performances, which take place twice a year. Their fall show took place on Dec. 7 and 8 in the Schofield Auditorium. Their spring show will take place in May 2019.

Maren Madsen, a fourth-year business finance student and the Treasurer of CDC, said she choreographed a piece for their most recent fall show. She said the song she chose for it reflected who she is.

“The piece I just choreographed, it’s called ‘Livin’ Off the Land’ by Justin Timberlake, … (and) it has to do with being outside, living off the land, using your resources,” Madsen said. “I personally have a good connection with nature, so I related to it.”

Madsen said her experience with teaching at a local dance studio for four seasons and being involved in the dance program at UW-Eau Claire has also given her knowledge about choreographing routines.

Sophie Jacobson, a fourth-year marketing student and president of the CDC, said inspiration from music is not only spurred by lyrics but also the notes and theme of a song.

“Choreography comes from within,” Jacobson said. “You hear music, and your body just moves.”

Jacobson also said that CDC will have “tech rehearsals” throughout the week before a show, so that the lighting correlates with their inspired dances and music.

Madsen also said she feels the organization’s passion makes it unique from other groups on campus.

She started dancing when she was five years old, continued to dance throughout high school and joined the UW-Eau Claire dance team for her first two years at the university. However, Madsen realized she wanted something different.

“It was really fun. I had a good experience (on the UW-Eau Claire dance team), but it’s a really big commitment,” Madsen said. “(With CDC) we don’t compete, we just do performances more for fun. The schedule is more flexible (and) less strenuous than the dance team.”

This year marks Madsen’s second year of being a member of this group and she said she admires that CDC is a completely student-lead organization.

“All of the choreography is by the students of the group,” Madsen said. “Board members are in charge of reserving the space, printing the program and all of the administrative things to run a concert twice a year,”

She said that although auditions are required to become a member and the process is selective, CDC emphasizes the idea of community and creates a friendly environment for its members.

Jacobson said she began dancing when she was in fourth or fifth grade and continued throughout high school, serving as her dance team’s captain. She had even heard of CDC before coming to UW-Eau Claire.

However, after dancing for an average of 28 hours per week throughout high school, Jacobson believed she would be done dancing when she graduated. It was because CDC was not competitive that she continued her dancing career throughout college and joined the group as a first-year student.

Jacobson said she admires that a dance background is not required to be a part of the group, but rather a passion for dancing.

“We all just dance because we love to dance,” Jacobson said.

Van Sistine can be reached at [email protected].