Department of Theatre

Dance USM! A Large Cast of Guest & Student Artists Present Diverse and Powerful Works of Movement and Poetry

Dance USM!

This year’s Dance USM!, directed by Maria A. Tzianabos, features  a large cast  of students from many different USM majors and departments, performing on the main stage at Russell Hall and representing a wide variety of dance forms.  

The show opens on Thursday, December 8 with performances at 7:30 on the 8th, 9th and 10th, and a 5 p.m. matinée on Sunday the 11th. Tickets are $15 for adults, $11 for seniors, USM employees and alumni, and $8 for students. Purchase tickets online at, or call the Theatre Box Office at (207) 780-5151.

On the program will be modern dances that express universal emotions, fears and insecurities, with topics ranging from anxiety to a sense of longing for a time long ago. Other pieces bring us back in time to the jazz age with a ballroom Quickstep Putting on the Ritz. This year we celebrate the 40's and our veterans with a tap number to In the Mood and a classic Fosse-style dance Sing Sing Sing. In contrast there are two hip hop dances this year, both in different hip hop styles.  

Featured are guest ballroom dancers from Collaborative Movement in Westbrook, who work with student performers to enhance their ballroom dancing skills. Also featured is a classical Modern piece inspired by Jose Limon's Dances for Isadora set to a Chopin waltz, choreographed by Maria Tzianabos and performed by Veronica Druchniak, a soloist from Maine State Ballet.   

Student performers include Katie Tomer, Jacob Hammond and Jeannette Lambert in a collaborative dance that incorporates spoken word, poetry and movement, exploring  how the art of dance can convey one's innermost thoughts.   

Braden Socquet describes her dance "Anxiety" as "A piece about anxiety and the inner workings of the mind".

Caleb Streadwick  performs a work that he envisioned under the guidance of director Maria Tzianabos, depicting a deeply personal journey and exploring issues of identity, diversity, growth and self acceptance.  

Elizabeth Donato will perform a piece with  a group of high school age students from the Portland community that celebrates cultural identity and diversity. Ms. Tzianabos began planning this piece with Elizabeth last year as a result of her "The Art of Dance" class. Donato has previously worked with high school students teaching Sudanese dance. The piece naturally follows USM’s tradition  of community engagement, and celebrates and honors the traditions of other cultures.

For more information about studying dance at USM, contact Maria Tzianabos at, or call the department office at 780-5480 X1.


Those needing special accommodations to participate fully in this program,contact Lori Arsenault, (207) 780-5142, impaired: call USM's telex / TDD number (207) 780-5646.


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