For nearly 25 years, Choir of the Sound has included dancing in our Holiday and Spring Pop Shows, a feature that sets us apart from most other choral groups. As the Dance Coordinator and one of the choreographers, Erin Bowles is deeply involved with getting dances onto the stage. She draws on an extensive background in tap, jazz, and Broadway-style dancing, and loves every chance to plan and teach dance numbers.
Picking which songs will have dance numbers is an intuitive process. “Songs will either jump out at me and scream ‘DANCE’ or they won’t,” Erin explains. Her experiences in musical theater taught her to let the lyrics inspire the choreography to physically portray what the song is saying. Still, her dances start in her muscles as much as in her mind; she puts on the music, and just starts moving to see what comes naturally. (Her 5-year-old daughter likes to help with this phase of the planning!)
The dancing portion of a Choir of the Sound show isn’t up to Erin alone; the whole Production Committee helps to plan the program. The team’s first task is to trim down their ideas to a number that the group can accommodate while maintaining the sound of the choir. Dance choices also have to fit the flow of a show, and complement solos and other aspects of the performance. Then Erin and the choreographers decide who will tackle which dance number.
As the group gets closer and closer to show time, Erin and her dance team get to watch their early, abstract ideas turn into realized performances, brought to life by the many choir members who love to dance as well as sing. This year’s Holiday show–Cold Winter, Warm Memories–will feature swing dancing, folk-inspired dances for the Hanukkah set, and more. Join Choir of the Sound at our holiday shows December 6 and 7 to see our fabulous singers and dancers in action. Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets.