FloArts presents Dance Choreography Gala: “Tension/Release”

Dance Choreography Gala
Dance Choreography Gala Tension/Release

Celebrating the art of movement and theater through a mixture of dance styles and student, faculty and guest collaborations, the Florida School of the Arts (FloArts) presents the Dance Choreography Gala “Tension/Release” on Friday, December 3 and Saturday, December 4 at 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday, December 5 at 2:30 p.m. The Gala, which explores the duality between tension and release through 15 choreographed dances, will be held on the FloArts main stage located on the Palatka campus of St. Johns River State College. Admission is $10.

“Ingenuine Ingénue” by FloArts’ newest dance instructor Andrea Montez will open the concert. According to FloArts senior dance instructor Jessica Mayhew-Borrero, who is directing the show with Montez, “Enveloped in a 1960’s mood, ‘Ingenuine Ingénue’ examines the disintegration of a perfected female façade where glimpses of exhaustion are revealed in between full bodied and gestural movement.”

Student-choreographed dance pieces include “Whispers in the Dark” by Paige Lane, which investigates the sensation of an ethereal presence affecting the physical form. Lane will also perform “Frayed,” choreographed by fellow dancer and choreographer Morgan Johnston. The solo piece explores the fighting nature of the human experience and drive to persevere. Johnston is also the choreographer of “Disjointed.” Other student-choreographed dances are “To the Edges” by Caley Costello, and “Worn Out” by Rebecca Miller. “Still Standing” is choreographed by both Costello and Miller.

Featured dance pieces from student choreographers were submitted and adjudicated by a committee of SJR State faculty, staff and guests. A select number of student-choreographed dances were then invited to be fully produced and presented in the concert. “Students are given the unique opportunity to engage in the overall design and production process that culminates into a fully realized dance concert,” Mayhew-Borrero explained.

Student choreographers receive mentoring and coaching throughout the creative process, in addition to working alongside the directors in implementing lighting, set and costume design elements. The students also gain a tremendous amount of professional experience and career connections by getting the opportunity to work with visiting guest artists.

Dance films "Soul Ties" and "Wide Awake" by Jacksonville based company Three Hearts Dance will also be part of the show’s diversity, and former adjunct instructor, Herman Ramos, will present a contemporary ballet piece.

Closing the show will be “Tabled” by Mayhew-Borrero, a piece that displays the struggle of power dynamics through a spectacle of athleticism, daring movement sequences and an original text Mayhew-Borrero wrote. “Tabled is a contemporary piece that explores the idea of taking partial ownership for one’s actions while deflecting blame to others,” she said, add that it is “driven by confined spaces and the dancers’ ability to move in and out of set pieces.”

Dancers include Robert Allen, Ursala Allen-Darring, Mitchell Burns, Eric Barnum, Courtney Burnett, Austin Butcher, Caley Costello, Jamie Costner, Natalie Drake, Krishelle Edwards, Kwabena Flewellyn, Suzannah Gaston, Abigail Hinson, Brendon Hudson, Morgan Johnston, Chelsey Lake, Paige Lane, Corey McKinney, Rebecca Miller, Sara Orce, Dion Pratt Jr., Hannah Seyler and Sydney Sheffield.

The production team consists of directors Jessica Mayhew-Borrero and Andrea Montez; costume design Tiffany Jordan; scenic design Tim Castell; lighting design coordinator Torrie Sanders; stage manager McKayla Whiteside; assistant stage manager Maggie Rashaw; production assistant Chelsey Lake; costume construction team: Crystal Addison, Suzannah Gaston, Kira Heuring, Peyton Kalaczynski, Shea McCord, Dmitri Sieracki and Hannah Seyler; light board operators: vyn arellano, Rhianna Kirkland, Kennedy Largin, Shea McCord and Dimitri Sieracki; sound board operator Dianette Moore; electricians and scenic construction Crew: Nick Aiello, Vyn Arellano, Lourdes Bados, Nicole Barnes, Zachary Brunke, Natalie Drake, Rhianna Kirkland, Kennedy Largin, Corey McKinney, Dianette Moore and Noah Ogg; understudies: Nick Aiello and Hannah Seyler.

Florida School of the Arts is part of the academic and administrative structure of SJR State and awards two-year associate degrees. The School serves the entire state of Florida and is located on the SJR State Palatka campus. For more information, call 386-312-4300 or visit

Florida School of the Arts students Morgan Johnston, Rebecca Miller, Paige Lane and Caley Costello prepare for the annual Dance Choreography Gala. The performance runs December 3 – 5.

Florida School of the Arts students Paige Lane, Morgan Johnston (front), Caley Costello and Rebecca Miller prepare for the annual Dance Choreography Gala. The performance runs December 3 – 5.



Susan Kessler
Director of Public Relations and Publications
(386) 312-4020