Dancefest: So Hot Right Now

On December 3rd, Colgate’s talented dancers from numerous organizations are uniting to perform in Dancefest. The event is scheduled for 7:00pm in the Chapel. This event, which occurs once each semester, is a longstanding Colgate tradition.Many styles of traditional, modern and cultural dance will be showcased, including hip-hop, reggae, step, jazz, ballet and clogging. The dance groups that will be performing are Groove, Legacy, Kuumba, UT Step, Total Praise, Cloggers and Ballet Club. Other organizations involved are the Colgate International Club, the South Asian Cultural Club and the Caribbean Student Association. The show provides students with the unique opportunity to experience art forms from various time periods and cultures. Colgate’s dance organizations are quite diverse, as students of different genders, races, nationalities and religions come together for the love of art and movement. Interestingly, the groups also comprise a wide range of talent. Beginners and seasoned dancers with extensive training will be performing on the same stage and in many of the same routines. “Some dancers are extremely well trained with an extensive dance background, while others just want to learn and get involved with dance at Colgate because it’s such a fun activity on campus,” junior co-producer of the show and captain of Groove, Rachelle Dennis said Sophomore Andrea Kozak has been tap dancing for 14 years, but recently started to learn ballet and will be performing with the Ballet Club in the show. She says that the dance groups provide a unique opportunity for “students who have been in competitive dance schools since they were very young” and people who are relative beginners to perform together. Another interesting aspect of the exhibition is that each group is organized and governed completely by students. The groups are organized and managed by students and the production of the exhibition was coordinated by students. Dennis says that this fosters a creative, lively environment. “Everyone involved is very passionate about dance and the leaders and captains of the groups are especially driven and motivated,” Dennis said. Dennis and senior Leah Anderson co-produced the show. They arranged the program with the director of each group to create a dynamic and fun event. “It will definitely be a high-energy show,” Dennis said. For Colgate dancers, this exhibition is the culmination of the work of the entire semester. Beginning with auditions in the fall through weekly practices and extended rehearsals for the show, dancers commit a significant amount of time to their organization. “Everyone involved works very hard but we are all passionate about dance so rehearsals are fun,” sophomore Grace Buckley said.Each organization has student leaders who choreograph routines and teach them to the group. On a typical week, dancers spend several hours learning and practicing routines. Kozak and Dennis each said that ballet club and Groove have been practicing about five hours per week, and several students are involved in more than one troupe.These dancers have been working on their performances up to six days per week to prepare for the show. The Chapel seating is traditionally completely filled so it is recommended that students arrive early. The show promises an eclectic mix of dance forms and an opportunity for Colgate students to witness dance moves that are most likely more advanced than those generally witnessed in the Jug.