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GSU Dance Company will ‘Rise Up’ to social injustice through dance

The Governors State University (GSU) Dance Company will promote social justice in their upcoming production, “RISE UP! Truth to Power,” running March 10 and 11 at the Center for Performing Arts (CPA). 

The show includes original choreography by GSU faculty, students and alumni. The performance draws from a variety of dance styles, including hip-hop, praise dance, contemporary and modern jazz.

Company Director and Assistant Professor of Dance Megan Lindsay says the show will tackle a variety of themes, including, “social justice inequities, abuse of power, breaking generational curses; the role of religion and the church in restoring and affirming community strength and power, mental health stigma, and the need for systematic change.”

The company has been in rehearsal since mid-September crafting eight dances for the production. 


The company will also continue its history of collaborating with local dance companies. Three local dance companies will participate in “RISE UP!” including: Safe Haven Arts Productions founded by GSU dance company member Tashona Butts, the Crete-Monee High School Warrior Guard Team in collaboration with company member Renee Striverson and Studio on Main is collaborating with alumna and dance company member Sadee Wuerthrich.

GSU student and company President Marquis Parks said, “As a black man that struggles with every one of these issues (police brutality, body positivity, self-empowerment, and bullying), it’s challenging to find an outlet to address my concerns. I would not want anyone to experience any of these situations. I believe that we are doing a justice to society by raising awareness and advocating for change.” 

The goal of this performance is to spark conversations about these issues and amplify voices of those who have been silenced and unheard.

My’Anna Perdue, company dancer, choreographer and GSU student, said, “Be prepared to embrace your emotions, be open-minded and willing to empathize … everyone can relate to this production; be ready to change your outlook on life.”

The company has dedicated “RISE UP!” to Chasette Simeon, GSU student and company member who passed away in November 2022.

Show times will be Friday, March 10, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. at Governors State University Center for Performing Arts, 1 University Parkway in University Park.

Tickets are $15 for the public and $10 for students with valid I.D. and can be purchased by calling 708-235-2222, at CenterTickets.net or by visiting the box office. Box office hours are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and two hours prior to show times.

The GSU Dance Company includes Marquis Parks, Trinity Jones, Jaiana Eckles, Amber Kelley, My’Anna Perdue, Dakota Keel, Tatyana Wilkins, Lanise Stinson, Tasia Washington, Imani Jackson, Tyra Barnes, Nia Baker, Delilah Harris, Jazmin Butler, Aja Unger, Renee Striverson, Tashona Butts, Tamar Clark, Brezhan Durant, Navia McDonald, Nicole Thompson and Sadee Wuethrich.

Currently, face masks are optional for audience members. Hand sanitizer will be made available throughout the venue. Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend an event. The Center’s COVID-19 policies coincide with Governors State University’s. For the most updated COVID-19 policies being implemented across campus please visit https://www.govst.edu/coronavirus/.

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