JoJo’s Last Dance (As a UMass Boston Student)

Bill Doncaster | April 24, 2017
Joanne Caidor, aka,

Joanne Caidor, aka, "Misses JoJo" preps for the Spring Dance Concert
Image by: Kahrim Wade

Jojo is, hands down, one of the best dancers I have ever seen, not just at UMass Boston, but anywhere -- Danny Swain

JoJo Fast -- adj.

1.A dance term born at UMass Boston to describe choreography of otherwise indescribable energy, speed, and artistry, usually performed and/or choreographed by Joanne Caidor, a.k.a. JoJo, a.k.a. Misses JoJo.  

The Spring Dance Concert is May 5 and 6 -- the first to be performed in the new University Hall Theatre, and the last appearance on stage (as a student) for graduating senior Joanne Caidor.

Better known to most as JoJo, or Misses JoJo, Caidor is well known as a force on the dance floor, as a dancer and a choreographer. Looking ahead to graduation, already juggling a newly formed company and teaching in the area, one goal is clear. She’d like to return to UMass Boston to teach someday.

The dance faculty in the Performing Arts Department do not mince words.

“Jojo is, hands down, one of the best dancers I have ever seen, not just at UMass Boston, but anywhere!” says Danny Swain, lecturer in dance and co-artistic director of the Spring Dance Concert. “Not only does she have beautiful technique and stage presence, but she is an incredibly diversified dancer who can perform any style of dance thrown at her -- effortlessly dancing hip-hop, contemporary, African, musical theatre, jazz, as if each one was her specialty.”

“As a dancer she draws your eye whenever she moves,” says Elizabeth Lapuh, long-time Dance Program director. “All the great dancers have that – an ability to expose themselves, their whole world of emotions, to the audience.”

“As a choreographer, her style is energy personified, and her attitude is always positive,” says Lapuh. “The finished product is always something the audience loves.”

 At this year’s concert on May 5 & 6, she’s choreographed three pieces, including the show’s finale.

A Business major with a Dance minor, she teaches workshops and master classes in the area and recently began a dance company with a social justice mission called AfMoHip. Her goal is to perform globally, raising funds and awareness for hunger.

Caidor looks back on her transfer to UMass Boston from Dean College, duets with friend and frequent dance partner Junior Cius, and a sense of unfinished business with the UMass Boston dance program.

“I actually want to teach here,” she says. “I can’t put it all on the stage during these performances. I don’t want this to be my last year. I want it to be my last year education-wise, but dance-wise? I want to come back, if I could perform, put more stuff on stage, put more on people’s bodies, that’s what I want.”

Well aware of her own abilities, she’s interested in pushing boundaries, moving beyond people’s expectations.

“It’s the regular dance that you always see, you want to move outside the box,” she says. “I can show you that.”

Transferring from Dean College, she had more opportunity for performance here. Her choreography and approach to teaching also flourished, as fellow students come with a range of abilities and backgrounds.

The Spring Dance Concert is May 5 & 6, 8 p.m., in the University Hall Theatre. The concert features nine dancers from the Dance program, plus guest artist Jean Appolon. Tickets are $10 for students, $15 for the general public, and advance tickets are available at this LINK</a>.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="Joanne Caidor" data-cke-saved-src="" src="" /></p>

Tags: dance concert , dance minor , performing arts , performing arts department , spring dance concert , tickets

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