Hillside Chats: Dance Ensemble's Michelle Prew

This Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, March 13-15, BC’s student-run Dance Ensemble will put on their spring show, “Spotlight.”  I sat down with the group’s director, Michelle Prew, to learn more about Dance Ensemble and this weekend’s performance.

Hi Michelle!  First, why don’t you introduce yourself?

My name is Michelle Prew and I’m the director of DE.  I’m a senior in A&S and a Bio major.

Tell us a little bit about Dance Ensemble, for anyone who isn’t familiar with the organization.

We have 33 girls this year.  We dance all different styles—jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, and contemporary.  We give two performances a year, one in the fall and one in the spring, and all proceeds from our performances go to the Campus School, which is something we’re really proud of!

So how did you come up with the “Spotlight” theme for this weekend’s show?

The idea is centered on strong, fierce women shining in the spotlight.  We feel like, since we’re a group of all girls, female empowerment is a really important theme for us.  We just want to show off girls being fierce!


That’s awesome! How did you all collaborate in choreographing the pieces?

Each member can choreograph after dancing with DE for one semester.  We have a variety of sophomores, juniors, seniors, and a freshman, who choreographed for this performance.  Each dance is choreographed by one or two members.

 Where do you guys find inspiration for your choreography?

It really depends on the choreographer.  Each member choreographs in the style of her specialty, so she picks a song that fits that style, whether it’s something from a movie soundtrack, or a cover of a pop song.

 How did you tie the pieces for the show to its “Spotlight” theme?

Well, one of the songs for our opening piece is “***Flawless” by Beyoncé.  She’s a really big influence—we always try to include at least one Beyoncé song in our shows.  We also wanted to make our pieces more modern and cool; we used the rap song “Versace” by Drake for a tap dance.  We tried to build on the more mainstream, pop-y dances to techno music that we’ve done in the past.

Photo courtesy of Boston College Dance Ensemble / Facebook

 So what drove you to join a dance group at BC, and particularly DE?

I’ve been dancing since I was three, as with a lot of people on DE; most of us come from trained backgrounds.  A girl from my dance studio was on DE, so I knew I wanted to try out freshman year, and I have been a member of DE since then.

What do you think about the role dance plays on BC’s campus?

Dance is pretty big on this campus, which is awesome because it’s a way of expression.  And with DE, it’s really fun to be a part of something where everyone loves what she’s doing.  It’s so much fun to go out and perform, especially for a full audience, and to get the crowd into it.  Dance also becomes a bonding experience—some of the DE girls are my best friends.

Catch the fierce ladies of BCDE in “Spotlight” this weekend, March 13-15, at 7:30 pm in Robsham Theater!  Tickets are available online or at Robsham’s box office for $10—all proceeds benefit the Boston College Campus School, a non-profit day school for students with various challenges.

To learn more about Boston College Dance Ensemble or to find updates regarding their performance schedule, visit their website or Facebook page.  Also be sure to check out past performances on DE’s Youtube channel!