What is Optima Dance?
Optima Dance is a student organization that was created to give dancers at UW-Madison the opportunity to showcase their own choreography and perform in student choreographed works. It gives students of all dance backgrounds and all fields of study the chance to experiment with and expose their talents in all genres of dance. Previous shows have included everything from ballet and jazz to African and musical theatre. We welcome all forms of dance and all levels! In 2009, Optima Dance became UW-Madison's largest dance student organization with over 100 members and continues to grow each semester!
During the fall and spring semesters, Optima offers many opportunities for its members, including performance and volunteer opportunities as well as weekly yoga and technique classes and monthly master classes. Optima also spends each semester preparing for the fall and spring showcases. This includes rehearsals, feedback showings and finally the show itself. Each year the shows draw hundreds of audience members and create hundreds of memories for the cast, the choreographers and the audience alike.
Check out the Notice Board for the most current updates. Also the Our Dances tab contains videos and photos from the most recent dress rehearsal and showings. All member information is located under the Members tab including information for choreographers, dancers and bios of the executive board. Finally the Optima Handbook contains information about all requirements and procedures within Optima. Feel free to contact us using the contact tab for more information.
A Little Optima History:
Optima Dance began in '02-'03 as a group for dance majors to throw around ideas- not much happened that year and there was no show or name yet. '03-'04 was the first year that pieces were showcased, and the name OPTIMA was adopted which originally stood for Organization for Performing Theater and Inter Media Arts. Ashley Cutler and Ali Rootberg were the leaders at that time. In 2004-05, we had our spring showcase for the first time in Lathrop Hall, studio 349 during a daytime matinee show and the group was about 25 people big. 2005-06, our show was in the H'Doubler theater and participation increased to about 50 people. Our exec board was created that year, comprised of Alli Schoen, Lauren Rosenstein, Heidi Adams, and Katie Riffel. 06-07 we advertised and promoted more than ever, and the group continued to grow! Alli Schoen, Katie Riffel, Julie Goodman and Kate Kennedy worked really hard to expand the program to include master classes and to make the spring showcase bigger and bigger! Each year since then, the group continues to grow and explore new and exciting opportunities to show the UW campus what we can do!
Previous Optima Presidents
Ashley Cutler and Ali Rootberg (Founders 03-04)
Lauren Rosenstein and Heidi Adams (05-06)
Alli Schoen (06-07, 07-08)
Kate Kennedy (08-09)
Kerry Wall (09-10)
Megan Hastings (10-11)
Katie Paulos (10-11)
Rachel Landsman (11-12)
Jordan Snider (12-13)
Caroline Orr (current)