Dancefest Showcases Classic Moves and Cultures


Kuba Alicki, Maroon-News Staff

Dancefest Fall 2018 hit the ground—or stage—running this past Saturday, December 1 at 6 p.m. The biannual dance presentation hosted 20 campus dance groups, each performing their own choreographed pieces in the Colgate Memorial Chapel.

The two-hour long show started with a bold entrance, featuring all of the performing dance groups rushing the stage to Alex Newell and DJ Cassidy’s “Kill the Lights.” The crowd cheered as the group performed both as a whole and as individual troupes throughout the song. Immediately after, seniors and co-hosts Keira Mongeon and Eric Benoit, of Colgate Stand Up, kicked off the show.

Dancefest featured performances by Colgate Ballroom Dancers, Groove Dance Troupe, Afro-Beat, Colgate Tap Troupe, Chinese Dance Club, FUSE, Wolfpack, SHOCK, MELANATED, Irish Dance Club, Colgate Ballet Company, DDT, Latin American Dance, KPOP’D, Bellydancing, Colgate Dance Initiative, JJSY, Kuumba, KOS and Bollywood. Together the groups accounted for 33 individual pieces.

Preparing for Dancefest is no easy feat. James Daus, a first-year member of the KPOP’D boy group, played a central role in “BOSS” this year.

“Preparation was grueling. There was training once or twice a week for months, and then right before [Dancefest] we were training every single day until midnight or one in the morning. I was running a little low on sleep, but it was all worth it,” Daus said.

Daus said it was the thrill of the lifetime to finally be on stage. Being in front of his peers and showing off what KPOP’D had worked hard to accomplish paid off.

“Right before, there was so much hype. The crowd was going crazy, it goes dark, you run onstage and everyone’s just screaming. I completely forgot all of the practice and training. It was just me in the moment having a great time. It was definitely the most fun thing I’ve done since I’ve been here,” Daus said.

First-year Ahmaud Gabriele also marveled at his experience performing ballroom dance. As a trained musician with little experience in dancing, Gabriele had a unique perspective as a first time performer.

“Honestly, it was kind of weird because I have never danced before coming here. I remember a friend of mine, saying, ‘you should come and try ballroom.’ And the first time I saw that I could actually dance, it was exciting,” Gabriele said.

As for how it all came together for him, Gabriele compared it to his time as a musician. Even though he had trained for performances all his life, he had never used his body as a means to perform. However, in the company of such a variety of student dancers, both experienced and newly trained, he realized the hours of practice meant more than just two and a half minutes on stage.

“I didn’t realize how many dance groups there were. I didn’t realize how many cultures there were. Putting it all together took away all the stress and anxiety and it just made it seem fun,” Gabriele stated.

For students who have not participated in the event, Gabriele hopes they consider partaking in the future.

“If you’ve never done DanceFest before, I would do it at least once. It’s my first time doing it, but I’m glad I did it,” he said.

Contact Kuba Alicki at [email protected].