Sola celebrates women through dance


A performance for women, by women—that’s what Sola is all about. 

This weekend USF is hosting the beginning of a dance movement that celebrates women through contemporary dance. 

The name of the show, Sola, translates from Spanish to “woman alone,” which is what each piece will feature: a solo choreographed by its dancer. 

Sola will showcase Andee Scott and Bliss Kohlmyer, both modern dance assistant professors at USF, as well as four other women including Amy Chavasse from the University of Michigan, Pam Pietro from New York University, Tzvest Kassabova from Middlebury University and Mary Williford-Shade from Texas Women’s University.

The event will travel to each dancer’s home institution and be held at their respective university’s theaters in an effort to save money on theater and studio expenses, while spreading the idea of women choreographers in the dance field.

Scott said she started the project after noticing how male-dominant the dance industry has become and is hoping Sola will give women like herself some time alone in the spotlight.

“It’s a political statement highlighting and emphasizing the work of women,” Scott said. “But on another side it’s also just about really good dance. It’s a platform for women.”

Kohlmyer said she found her colleague’s idea clever and resourceful.

“It creates a way for us to showcase our work in different areas of the country and promote us as dancers, choreographers and educators without having to spend so much money,” Kohlmyer said.

The dancers created their pieces separately and will rehearse together once before the show. The out-of-state professors will also teach several graduate classes while on campus.

Kohlmyer said she hopes the event will inspire female dance students to take control of their artistic career rather than rely on a male instructor for direction. 

“When you’re young and training, you have some male figures making demands upon you,” Kohlmyer said. “(We want) to break that mold. We also have voices, and we need to be heard more in the dance field.”

Despite the focus on the contemporary style of dance, Scott suggested each solo will be unique and feature video and text that will give dimension to each performance. She also said Sola is not just for women and will be appreciated by anyone who enjoys “an evening of beautiful dance.” 

“I think that art is necessary, so any opportunity that we have to see it, we should grab,” Scott said. “Art makes us better people, and dance can access our humanity.”

The show is set to run Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. in Theatre 2 on Holly Avenue. Tickets are available for $12 in advance and $15 at the door or $8 in advance and $10 at the door for students and seniors.

Tickets can also be found at