Summer allows students to explore interests, activities

Sheba dancers old and new watch their peers practice. ShebaLite is Sheba's summer off-shoot, which attracts a surprising variety of new talent.

In a performance before his entire high school, Thomas Donahoe ’09 attempted the difficult dance move known as “the worm” — and a dancer was born.

“I’ve always loved high school dances and dance parties but it was nothing I ever took seriously,” Donahoe said.

This term, however, Donahoe tried out for and earned a spot in ShebaLite — the summer incarnation of the student dance troupe Sheba, which performs on campus during the Fall, Winter and Spring terms.

Sophomore summer offers students the opportunity to take part in different organizations that they might not be part of during the rest of the year as many student organizations — such as dance, improvisational theater and a cappella groups — face diminished membership in the summer and find the need to replenish their ranks with new students. In addition, many sophomores take a lighter course load during the Summer term, which can enable students to get involved in more campus activities.

“I think its kind of one of those things that’s much more manageable during the summer because I’m only taking two classes,” Lauren Caracciola ’09, one of the summer co-presidents for Casual Thursday, an improv group, said.

Caracciola and Joe Wood ’09, the other co-president of the group, were the only members of Casual Thursday on campus this summer so they scheduled auditions for new comedians.

“They’re really quick learners, and we’re looking forward to working with them,” Caracciola said of the troupe’s new additions.

Summer members must re-apply in order to join many of these organizations for the rest of the year.

“Everyone’s asked and encouraged to reaudition in the fall,” Caracciola said.

For the Summer term the different a cappella groups on campus converge into one supergroup, the SummerPhonics. This year, Marley McMillan, a year-round member of the Dodecaphonics and a member of the Dartmouth women’s hockey team, is the summer president.

“One of the reasons that I was really excited about being president this summer is because I am not able to have a position in the Dodecs any other term because of hockey, even though it is one of my favorite things that I do at Dartmouth,” McMillan said.

Auditions for the group were also open to students who are not already affiliated with a campus a cappella group. In total, the SummerPhonics admitted 12 new members to join the five sophomores already in the Dodecaphonics.

“It has been another wonderful experience getting to know people I probably would have never met otherwise, and I think the rest of the group would say the same thing,” McMillan said. “I also think that this is a wonderful chance for the members of the different a capella groups to get to know each other and sing together, and kind of forget that they are in different groups.”

The Summer term also gives sophomore members of Greek organizations with the opportunity to take on leadership roles in their organizations.

“So far it’s been a great experience for me,” Alex Guyton ’09, the summer president of Sigma Nu fraternity, said. “It’s been a lot of fun — more work than I thought it would be, but I guess that’s to be expected.”

Guyton, who served as the academic chair for Sig Nu during the Winter term and as the fraternity’s rush chair in the spring, knew that he wanted to play a bigger role in the leadership of the organization this term.

For others, the summer can be used as a trial period — a way to decide if members would want to hold leadership positions in the coming years.

“I wanted to be active in the house for the summer because I enjoyed being part of it for the fall and heard from the ’07 execs that it was fun to be part of it,” Elysa Severinghaus ’09, the summer president of Sigma Delta sorority, said. “It’s fun to test out and see if you want to do it senior year. I’d definitely consider running for an exec. position — whether its president I’ll still have to gauge.”

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