Inside Out Dance Ensemble’s “Soundtracks” takes the stage

The Inside Out Dance Ensemble held a performance named “Soundtracks” April 19 and 20 in the Meyer Theater located in the La-Z-Boy Center.

“Soundtracks” is themed around movie soundtracks. With songs such as “Night Fever” from “Saturday Night Fever,” “Jailhouse Rock” from “Jailhouse Rock” and “The Portrait” from “The Titanic.”

Group of dancers in circle holding picture frame.
IODE Company performing to “The Portrait” from “The Titanic.” (Photo by Jesse McDaniel)

Kellie Lajiness, an adjunct faculty member at MCCC, was the choreographer for the event as well as the IODE’s director.

Katy Dreger, 22, has been dancing at MCCC for 12 years. The last four years with the IODE and eight years with the junior company. Dreger went to Western Michigan University and majored in public history and anthropology. 

“The biggest obstacle for preparing for this show was working around my hectic schedule,” Dreger said. “I work full time as an assistant manager, while also watching my little brother, so being completely exhausted constantly was the hardest thing to work around.”

Dreger said her favorite number was the duet “Jailhouse Rock.” 

“My proudest moment was being able to dance in front of my biological dad and my grandparents for the first time,” Dreger said. “As they have never seen me dance before. It was nerve wracking and exciting all in the same.”

Brandon Burns, 36, is a current lifelong learning student and has been at MCCC for two and a half years. Burns has been a part of the IODE since Oct. 2022.

Burns said that the biggest obstacle for him was remembering all the steps and movements for so many different routines. 

When asked about his favorite number of the night Burns said “A toss up between the opener ‘Disco Night’ and the duet “The Dinner Conversation.” These two incorporated the mist ballroom dancing which I enjoy most”

“There’s a part in the last song where we all join together in a circle to rotate multiple times, for the final rotation we all counted out the steps out together,” Burns said. “With smiles and cheer and that was when I felt a real sense of accomplishment. I feel we all had a great performance.”

man playing guitar with two little girls at microphones.
Guest performer Kevin Daniels performing with his granddaughters in “Everything is beautiful.”(Photo by Jesse McDaniel)

The performance featured Kevin R. Daniels as a guest performer. Daniels is a singer and songwriter who specializes in bluegrass, gospel and classic country.

Daniels is a returning guest performer to the IODE, but this year he got to share the stage with his granddaughters Everleigh and Haven Wygonik in the number “Everything is beautiful,” written by Ray Stevens.

The curtains close and dancers retire as this year’s Inside Out Dance Ensemble performance comes to its close.