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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Ebony II elicits “Blood, sweat and tears”

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Popular enough to pack Sayles two nights each term, Ebony is one of the most attended events on campus each term. Organizing an endeavor this massive falls primarily on the shoulders of the four directors. Samantha Saltzman, Mike Bahn, Laramie Jensen, and Elizabeth Massey were each chosen through a thorough nomination process the spring term of each year.

“In spring term, the outgoing senior directors collect nominations from the current members of Ebony and inform the nominees of their nominations. The nominees then accept their nominations and write a platform, which the senior directors compile and send to the Ebony list serve,” Saltzman said.

After seeing the candidates’ statements, each current member of Ebony gets four votes for their favorites. “I was nominated my sophomore year and decided to run,” Jensen said. “I was pretty nervous during all of the spring show before results came out, but getting voted to lead Ebony was one of the highlights of my Carleton career.”

Once a director, the majority of the work is logistical and communication based. “We do a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff like figuring out lights, sound and logistics for performing in Sayles each term. Definitely keeping up a good relationship with SAO and facilities is important to us as well.

A main part of the job is also organizing, running and choreographing the group dances and making sure the other dances have space and are practicing,” Jensen said.

Another large part of their job is choosing the dances for the next showing. Based on the style of the song and the choreographer’s seniority and commitment to Ebony, each performance should have a range of artists and music.

This range of music attracts a wider audience and a large group of participants. Jensen elaborated, “It’s definitely dynamic, that is there are a lot of people who do it sporadically and take a term or two off then come back to it. There are some people, like me, who have done it every term they have been on campus, but that’s not the majority. We try to make it as welcoming and accessible as possible, no experience required.”

While audience members may have loved seeing their roommate dance her heart out or a classmate’s smile during the group number, Massey enjoyed, “seeing new people dancing that I hadn’t seen before. I was abroad in the fall so all the freshmen participating in Ebony was great to see.”

Saltzman, instead, loved seeing the dedication to the performance by many of this term’s dancers. “[The best part was] the blood on the floor at the end of the Saturday show. Blood, sweat and tears is no joke to Ebony II.”

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