The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

Fresno City Dance Program

Igniting Passion and Talent, Inspiring a Community of Dancers
Dance Students Perform on April 12, 2024, at the Spring Dance Performance

From April 11th to April 14th, Fresno City College’s dance program showcased its vibrant talent at the 2024 Spring Dance Performance. The event, a culmination of months of dedication and creativity, featured a diverse range of dance styles, from contemporary and modern to hip-hop, jazz, and ballet. The dance program at FCC has been around since 1958. 

Instructor Kara Bithell, who played a pivotal role in organizing the event, shared insights into the rigorous process behind the scenes. 

“We have rehearsals every night, Monday through Friday, and sometimes on weekends,” said Bithell. “Students audition for faculty work, and then we select five students to choreograph their own pieces. It’s a quick process to produce something artistic, creative, and clean for the stage.” 

She emphasized getting students to enroll in classes and become dance majors. It’s a deep commitment that requires dedication beyond just class time.

Despite the challenges, including the cancellation of some classes due to low enrollment, the Spring Dance Contest had its largest cast in 30 years, with nearly 45 students participating. 

Bithell expressed pride in the students’ accomplishments, describing the event as the best she had witnessed in terms of creativity and artistry.

However, beyond the glitz and glamor of the stage, there lies a deeper reality for many dancers. Mental health issues and body image struggles often lurk behind the scenes. 

“A lot of anxiety and depression have been prevalent. We try to support our students by providing access to counseling and tutoring services,” Bithell said. 

The mission of the FCC dance program extends beyond performance.

 “Our goal is to create an open space with equity and inclusion. We want to expose students to who they want to be. It enhances cognitive thinking and offers valuable skills applicable to any discipline,” Bithell said. 

Looking ahead, Bithell highlighted the evolving landscape of dance education, driven by technological advancements and changing trends.

“Technology has allowed for immersive dance experiences, which are gaining popularity,” Bithell said. “We’re also striving to make dance more accessible, both in terms of class offerings and cultural representation.”

Despite financial challenges, the passion and dedication of the FCC dance community continue to shine bright. 

“We may not have enough funding, but we make do with what we have. Our team treats each other with respect and equality, striving to support one another in our shared mission of nurturing artistic talent,” said Bithell. 

Bithell is teaching a dance conditioning class this summer and encourages students to sign up, as a lack of students has canceled the class. 

The dance expo is Saturday, July 27, 2024, at 8 a.m. The community is invited to join the FCC dance faculty and dance students in celebrating a day of dance and dance education. All genres and styles showcase the diversity within our community.

Tickets will be $10 on Eventbrite the link is to be announced. 

Story continues below advertisement
Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Paige Gerber
Paige Gerber, Reporter
Paige Gerber is a reporter for the Rampage at Fresno City College. Twenty-four years old, born in Upland, CA. She was raised in the mountain area around Coarsegold, CA, which shaped her appreciation for nature and adventure. She is working to get her associate's degree, majoring in Communications and Journalism. Paige's academic excellence was recognized by the Communications Scholarship in 2022 and the Calviva Scholarship in 2023 from Clovis Community College. Demonstrating consistent commitment, she also secured a spot on the Dean's list for two consecutive years. Once she graduates, she plans to continue to pursue a bachelor's degree in Journalism and has the dream of becoming a news anchor. She has an interest in videography and photography. Paige has a passion for interviewing others and talking. She moved to Los Angeles for a few years, where she found her love for media being on camera, and being involved with television productions. After moving back to Fresno, she pursued a degree in Journalism. The inspiration for her journey lies in the joy of connecting with people. She’s dedicated to improving her skills and completing her degree. She has a focus on entertainment in news writing, and she is ready to immersive herself in that industry. Her goal is to bring stories to life in unique and captivating ways. She has a passion for traveling and has experience studying abroad in Greece, learning about anthropology and public speaking. In her free time, she enjoys playing sports like volleyball and tennis to stay active. A fun fact about her is she loves sushi and seafood and prefers summer over winter.

Comments (0)

Please be respectful.
All The Rampage Online Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest