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EMCC’s Student Dance Co. Presents ‘Visibility’ April 29 & 30

Image of woman sitting crossed legged with words "Visibility" and "DancEstrella"
Spring performance is free & open to the public 

Looking for something fun to do this weekend that won’t break the bank? We’ve got just the ticket. The free ticket, that is. Come out to the Performing Arts Center at Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) on April 29 or 30 and enjoy a free showing of DancEstrella’s spring performance, “Visibility.”

“Visibility” features collaborative choreography by students in dance performance classes, a full company work by Artistic Director and faculty member Janaea Lyn McAlee, and practicum dances — final projects by dance majors.

Denise Lopez will debut “Rhamnousia” for her practicum dance. Denise, who is also the Assistant Director for DancEstrella, EMCC’s student dance company, originally set out to choreograph “Merak,” a Serbian word meaning a feeling of bliss and sense of oneness with the universe that comes from the simplest of pleasures, but she changed it to “Rhamnousia,” another name for Nemesis, the Greek goddess who enacts retribution against those who succumb to hubris, arrogance before the gods.

“I wanted to present at first, that we must take others into consideration from a simple smile or gesture of love,” Denise said. “But we have these mindsets of robots and go on about our day and we don’t consider others or ourselves, and that later becomes our own nemesis.”

Denise is excited to perform live in person this year after performing virtually last year due to COVID-19.

“It is quite crazy to think that there was a year-and-a-half gap in-between before returning on a stage with an audience,” she said. “Although we did not have an audience during my first show last spring, which was virtual and pre-recorded, it was undoubtfully a learning experience for everyone. But now going into my second show with DancEstrella and with an audience, I feel excited and nervous. Having the opportunity to interact with an audience after a show is amazing — hearing how they interpreted a piece and receiving feedback — it’s my favorite part.”

Denise is graduating from EMCC this spring and has already been accepted into Arizona State University’s Dance Program where she will start in the fall with a $500 scholarship from Southwest Ballet Theatre.

“Denise began her training right at the start of the pandemic, dancing remotely via Zoom in a tiny bedroom,” Professor McAlee said. “She adapted to every version of training — from remote to hybrid to finally in the dance studio — and did not let anything stop her drive to excel and complete her dance degree in two years. She has become a strong dancer, innovative choreographer, and adept assistant director. She is the very model of commitment, passion, and tenacity for the other students and I couldn’t be prouder of her!”

“Visibility” will be performed at 3 and 7 p.m. April 29 and 30 in the Performing Arts Center on campus, 3000 N. Dysart Road, Avondale. Audience members will have the
opportunity to participate in a Q & A session with the dancers at the end of each show. The show is free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Interested in EMCC’s Dance Program? Go to to learn more. Registration is currently underway for the summer session and fall semester. To begin your journey, visit

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