By Nathaniel Benge
Pensacola State College is proud to have The Swerve Dance Company of Pensacola as a part of the various extracurricular activities students can take part in, though few students know of its existence.
The company was established in 1996 and now is currently under the artistic direction of Ms. Beth Bradford and Ms. LaVonne French who is also a faculty member of the college. The company has been performing at the school since 2008 and they are a part of the college’s Lyceum Series.
The styles of dance Swerve incorporates within their program is a mix of jazz, modern, contemporary, and ballet. Third year veteran member Steele Jackson says that, “Swerve has helped me become a better performer, giving me outstanding dance qualities as a choreographer [as] I am currently the colorguard instructor of West Florida High School. Because I’ve learned so much from Swerve, I was able to incorporate those to the colorguard and I’ve helped them compete in various competitions from WGI (Winter Guard International) and Pensacola Regional.”
Swerve is starting production of their new show and they’re still looking for more students who are willing and interested in joining them. “I highly encourage any student showing interest in Swerve to come check it out [because] dance is for everyone as long as you have the will and good instructors to guide you. Ms. LaVonne is an excellent dance teacher who I hold in high regard for she has molded me into the dancer I am today.”, says Steele.
They will be having upcoming performances at the Gulf Coast Arts Festival in Downtown Pensacola November 8th and 9th and at the Ashmore Auditorium here at Pensacola State January 24, 2015. Ms. LaVonne French encourages everyone to be involved greatly in the dance community. For those wanting to join this year production contact Ms. LaVonne French at eFrench@pensacolastate.edu.