campus wide alert

College News

Catawba College and Ballet Pensacola Collaborate to Offer "The Outrageous Dance Project"

February 13, 2014

Category: Academics, Events, Theatre Arts

balletpensacola2.jpgCatawba College's spring season will open with "The Outrageous Dance Project," a collaboration between Catawba College's Theatre Arts Department and Ballet Pensacola of Pensacola, Florida. Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, February 27 and 28, as well as Saturday, March 1 in Keppel Auditorium on Catawba's campus.

The piece will be directed in part by Richard Steinert, a 1981 Catawba College alumnus who serves as the artistic director of Ballet Pensacola. Originally a theatre major, Steinert discovered his love for dance while attending Catawba. Now a successful dancer, choreographer, and artistic director, he was honored by his alma mater with induction into the Blue Masque Hall of Fame in 2012.

"The purpose of this collaboration is to give students the opportunity to work with professional dancers and choreographers," says Dr. Beth Homan, an associate professor of theatre arts at Catawba and the other half of the directing team for this collaboration. She notes that Catawba students will benefit from the collaboration by discovering artistic techniques and modeling professionalism by working with dancers from on with a professional company.

balletpensacola.jpgThe piece will be composed of two acts and Catawba students will be dancing alongside professional dancers from Ballet Pensacola. Act One will be an introduction to dance styles, ranging from classical to contemporary ballet., in pieces drawn from Ballet Pensacola's repertoire. Act Two will be based on the Greek Myth of Icarus, the story of a man who attempts to escape Crete by means of wings his father has constructed of feathers and wax. This story will be partially told through Catawba student-choreographed pieces, chosen from the choreographers of the Fall Dance Ensemble and danced by members of Ballet Pensacola.

Following these pieces will be a devised dance theatre piece conceptualized by the two directors, Beth Homan and Richard Steinert, with the Myth of Icarus at its source. This piece will feature student actors and dancers along with Ballet Pensacola members presenting a contemporary look at themes within the myth.

Catawba students to be featured in both acts include Maddy Auchter of Houston,Texas; Tabitha Bass of Mebane; Daniel Brown of Chinquapin; Brandon Engleskirchen of Concord; Holly Fuller of Panama City, Fla.; Olivia "Joan" Hedrick of Elon; Cheyenne Hicks of Asheboro; Robert Irby of Concord; Terrell Jones of Philadelphia, Pa.; Verity Pryor-Harden of Abilene, Texas; Chelsea Retalic of Concord; Maggie Saunders of Huntington, W. Va.; Lauren Stacks of Winston-Salem; Dillon Reid of Mocksville; and Jean White of Bluffton, S.C.


Under the artistic direction of Richard Steinert, Ballet Pensacola has become one of the cultural cornerstones of Pensacola, Fla. It is committed to the production of both classical ballet works and innovative originals. It also boasts a strong educational program. Its current operations include a performing company of 11 professional dancers augmented by talented student dancers from the Ballet Pensacola Academy. The Academy serves more than 300 students each year through its children's, training and community divisions.

Tickets to "The Outrageous Dance Project" are $10 for adults and $8 for non-Catawba students and senior citizens, with group discounts available. Tickets may be purchased online at or at the box office on the nights of the performance. For more details, call the Catawba College Theatre Box Office at (704) 637-4481.