Dance troupe raises funds for New York tour
TeeBoDans, a troupe of 10 dancers, most of whom are students or graduates of UALR, is working to raise $6,000 to add a New York leg to its June tour.
The troupe will perform “State of Being,” a concert of works directed and choreographed by Stephanie Thibeault, associate professor in the department of theatre and dance.
The concert explores what it means to be through contemporary dance, she said. Thibeault said that the group’s name is the phonetic spelling of her name and the word “dance.”
Students will have an opportunity to watch one of the pieces from the concert at the “Body Works” dance concert in April, Thibeault said.
Thibeault’s hand-picked dancers include students Ali Herring, Elizabeth Hartzell, Jessica Hyde, Danny Jimenez, Emily Karnes, Olivia Perry and Rachel Powell; graduate Sean Porter; and Kris Waltermire, another Arkansas dancer. Thibeault has yet to select the tenth dancer.
The troupe had already planned to go to Baltimore, and decided also to visit New York City, the mecca of contemporary dance, she said. While on tour, the dancers will perform, attend classes and network, she said.
“I think it’s important for the dancers to see other things and be seen by other people,” she said. “Several dancers will be graduating soon, and will want to look for new places to go after college.”
She added that even if the student dancers begin their careers elsewhere, they may bring their talents and experience back to Arkansas.
“I’d like to raise enough [money] to give a small per diem to the dancers,” Thibeault said. The money would pay for the dancers’ food and living expenses while on tour.
The troupe has already raised some funds. In January, they conducted an aerial dance workshop, Thibeault said. With help from the Theatre and Dance Guild, they organized a bake sale for Valentine’s Day, she said.
The project also received some funds through USA Projects, a nonprofit organization that helps artists raise funds for their projects, she said.
Thibeault began the project with a $3,000 grant from the college of arts, humanities and social sciences. The grant gave her time to research and put the works together, she said.
The project currently relies on private donations, information about which can be found on the troupe’s website, teebodans.org.