“Dance has been a really special thing to help me build my confidence, both in my voice physically and vocally,” said School of Music, Theatre & Dance senior Sally Butin. 

Though Butin doesn’t speak in her pieces, she has found her voice through dance. Over the years, Butin has been inspired by her peers and mentors to express herself and channel her own ideals into her artform. With her senior recital quickly approaching, this is what inspired her pieces.

“Dance, but just art in general I feel, has been this incredibly refreshing medium for me to express my values and create work that feels impactful and important,” Butin said.

Alongside Butin, SMTD seniors Victoria Briones and Alyssa Winnie will be performing their senior dance recital titled “recollect-us” from Nov. 21 to Nov. 23 at 8 p.m. each night. Like the other seniors in the dance school, the trio were assigned their partners and given the task of creating their own show, handling everything from choreography to program design. The theme of self-reclamation was unanimously decided because of the personal experiences that each dancer has endured. 

“We all discussed what our pieces were looking like schematically or what ideas we wanted to create,” said Butin. “There were a lot of themes about identity and how we are aware of our identity both from the past and from the present, even the future, sometimes, ”Butin explained.

The whole show has been a collaborative project, but through this process, each dancer has discovered a unique way of expressing her ideas and how she relates to the world. The show is deeply personal to each dancer and something they’ve all been working towards throughout their years at the University of Michigan.

“It’s a more personal show,” Butin said. “We’re all definitely dealing with topics and themes that we feel are affecting our lives often and are important. Whether it’s in light of something or shedding some light on a more dark kind of instance. It’s definitely special to see people have such a personal experience on stage. I think this show will have a lot of that.”

Through their time in the dance program, the three women have formed a tight bond, making this opportunity to dance together even more special. Butin has learned a lot from her fellow classmates and other young artists at the University.

“There’s such an all-over-the-map difference in training and background that people come to the school with, and it’s been really special to meet other dancers and artists and collaborate with them,” Butin said. “Now that I’m naming my senior piece, I’ve been a part of a lot of other ones, so I’ve learned a lot from the older students in the department and got to hear voices that inform mine.”

Butin’s personal growth throughout her years in the dance program has come as much from her individual studies as from her collaborations with other young artists. Collaboration has allowed the dancers to explore new ideas and realize how important it is to share their voices. With all her previous experiences influencing her current performance, Butin and her fellow dancers have the opportunity to inform new artists through their art form.

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