Kalamazoo, MI
one-hundred-forty Years of Service to the Student

Performing Arts

A Poetry and Dance Narrative SIP Review

(Janay Johnson / The Index)

“A Conversation Between Body & Soul” was presented by Melissa Acosta ‘15 last Friday, and received a rousing response from the K community. Since her freshman year, Melissa knew she wanted to do a dance SIP and she was able to combine it with her English major by writing various poems.

“I learned that I don’t think I’m a poet,” Acosta said.  Although she felt she wasn’t the best in writing poetry, she was able to completely tell her story through her original choreographed dances.

Her dancer Emily Powers ‘17 noted Acosta’s ability to tell a story through elaborate poetry and dance. Acosta discussed where she grew up, the culture she was brought up in, racial identity and her relationship with her mother.

Her poems “10 Lessons Not Having Money Taught Me” and “A Letter to Ms. C” explained some of her high school years and how dance shaped her passions. The poems were coupled with an energetic throwback mix of old favorites. Acosta incorporated her culture with a poem titled “In All of My Deception” and paired it with intimate Bachata dance.

“Deception is the way I make you believe, I blend into everything seamlessly,” Acosta wrote. Bachata has a romantic yet deceptive aura about it, much like her racial ambiguity.

Acosta became very vulnerable in writing a poem about the relationship with her mother.

“Forming words that sting when they hit your vulnerable skin making you question your every move to avoid its lashes,” Acosta wrote. She was able to explain why toxic relationships are detrimental through a powerful lyrical dance.

Acosta was not the only one who learned from her SIP, her dancers did as well.

“She would tell us really personal stories in practice and it helped us bring her story to life,” Powers said.

Acosta’s philosophy is anyone can dance with the right teacher; most of the dancers in her SIP were beginners. At the end of the performance, Acosta was given a standing ovation. Students were impressed and underclassmen were inspired to come up with their own unique topic for a SIP that not only fulfills the requirement but also speaks to them.

“As one of Melissa’s dancers, I was moved by her stories. I am honored to have brought her story to life and she has inspired me to never give up and follow my interests. Hopefully, I will be able to write a SIP as great as hers,” Jessica Magaña ’17 said.

Acosta’s conversation between her body poetry and soul was truly a work of art.

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A Poetry and Dance Narrative SIP Review