Swag. Cleanliness. Energy. Personality. These words describe what the students in IndepenDANCE aspire to embody every day in rehearsal, words that they consider their motto. This diverse group, which rehearses for twelve hours every week, is made up of people with a variety of training backgrounds.
“We have cheerleaders, ballerinas, hip hop dancers, etc., so everyone kind of brings new and different perspectives to the plate, and then we can all come together and get inspired by each other and create very detailed, complex pieces,” said Erin Whalen ’12. Though this would pose a challenge in some groups, IndepenDANCE is full of dedicated individuals.
“There’s a lot of choreography that some people aren’t accustomed to,” said Gabby Mitchell, ’13, “but everyone comes in with an attitude that they’re gonna try and put in their 100%. And if it’s not their style, they do their own version of it.” The dancers’ diversity of backgrounds shapes and strengthens the group.
“You meet a lot of people in IndepenDANCE that you wouldn’t ordinarily hang out with. I think a big part of IndepenDANCE is learning how to interact with everybody and accept them for their differences,” said Natalie Richardson Gentil ’14.
The group certainly seems to have achieved this. They call themselves a “family unit,” and upon entering the end of their rehearsal, I could see this clearly. Dressed in a range of workout gear from sweat pants to sports bras to dance shoes, they were all huddled together, laughing and having a good time.
IndepenDANCE was founded by Christain Snow ’13 and Seantasia Lee ’13 last semester and is the only hip hop group on campus.
“One major goal of the group has been to create a place to facilitate hip hop dancing and hip hop culture in a school where it’s pretty rare,” Whalen said. “We want to have everyone who loves to dance come together in a communal effort that can show a positive representation of hip hop culture.”
IndepenDANCE will be having a showcase this Friday night in Harris at 8:30 p.m. In addition to many entertaining dance numbers, this showcase will also feature R&B singers, a spoken word poet, and a rapper. IndepenDANCE members are looking forward to the performance.
“The audience gives so much energy in these situations, because when you see them sitting there and you know they want to get up and dance with you, that’s the best feeling in the world,” said Briel Waxman ’12. “When there’s an audience, the energy sky-rockets.” With their swag, cleanliness, energy, and personality, IndepenDANCE is sure to get a good turnout.
In addition to their Friday night performance, IndepenDANCE will be hosting a dance workshop this Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in the Multipurpose Dance Studio in the Bear.