When walking across the quad in the sunset last Friday, it was impossible to miss the long and striking line for Dancefest. It’s hard to believe that so much energy and so many people can fit inside the familiar walls of the Memorial Chapel, and that one event can bring the entire community together. At 7:30 p.m. on April 20, students gathered to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the biannual Dancefest and celebrate the hard work of the myriad of dance groups on campus.
This year was different than previous Dancefests; in light of the 13 Days of Green, the event went paperless, opting for an online version of the program on the Colgate mobile app.
Seniors Taylor Washing and Jonathan Burton hosted the event, opening with a dance medley of various songs including Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” James Brown’s “I Feel Good,” Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” and High School Musical’s “We’re All in this Together” to showcase different iconic dance moves throughout the decades. They entertained the crowd throughout the night with commentary and jokes.
LivinPoetry (senior Lucien Rubens) gave a solo performance of William Singe’s acoustic rendition of Drake’s “God’s Plan,” and the Colgate Irish Step Dance group provided a sense of traditional Irish music and culture with their performance. Groove Dance Troupe danced to “XO” by Beyonce, MELANATED performed “The Movement 2k18” and the Ballet Company danced to “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off” by Ella Eyre. The variety in music and moves continued with Latin American Dance performing “Dos Locos,” FUSE dancing to “Next to You,” Chinese Dance Club performing “Jade Dance” and KPOP’D performing “Mic Drop.”
Next, performances included Colgate Tap Troupe dancing to “Hotline Bling,” choreographed by senior Revée Needham, sophomore Marie Pugliese and senior Laura Weiss adapted from Chloe Arnold; Kuumba’s performance of “Love It” choreographed by senior Gabby Greenberg and sophomore Hayley Pearson and DDT dancing to “This is Me.” This was DDT’s first time experimenting with a lyrical hip-hop style that involved their white t-shirts expressing personal feelings.
These acts were followed by the much-loved Wolfpack, then by Shock which performed “Rise Up,” choreographed by seniors Amy Abshier, Megan Goss and Emily Shlafmitz, Colgate Dance Initiative with “Malefic” by Tariro Chinyanganya, Chinese Dance Club performing “Ying Yang” choreographed by senior Maya Cao and sophomore Jiayi Li and Dance Team with “We Are” choreographed by senior Kristen Cusumano.
After 20 years, it is safe to say Dancefest is a cherished feature of the Colgate community, and it is something that brings nearly the entire student body together to take a break and celebrate creative expression in the midst of the impending finals week. Between the music, dedication and sense of unity among the groups, the event allows us all to take a break from the monotony of academic life and experience a glimpse of everything we are capable of as expressive human beings.
“I’ve been thinking about this Dancefest since I first experienced it my fall semester freshman year. It’s such an amazing, uplifting event where everyone comes together to support all the hard work everyone has done for the semester. Having the opportunity to choreograph Belly Dance was humbling and so rewarding. After being abroad for a year, I can really say this kind of event doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world,” senior Laurel Stine said.
Alongside Needham, Stine choreographed the number for Bellydancing, which strives to celebrate bodies, as the dancers mesmerized the crowd with their performance of “Yalla” by INNA and “Do You?” by TroyBoi.
“I think that every group did a fantastic job. It was definitely a lot of fun and one of the best Dancefests since I’ve been here. My favorite part has to be the senior dance where the seniors from every group performed together and showcased each of their styles. That was something unique, and it was so cool to see the seniors from different groups dance together and support each other,” junior Claudia Buszta said.
Contact Allegra Padula at [email protected]