Friday night delivered a new event to campus: the UTM Dance Showcase, which featured two hours of dancing by six different dance-oriented groups from UTM. The event, hosted by the UTM Dance Club in the MIST Theatre, was packed with students.
The night started at 7:10 p.m.—lucky for me, because I had confused its location with the spelling bee musical that was taking place across the building—with the hosting club performing their opening number to a cover of “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes, appropriately titled Seven. Though some of the dancers were a bit out of sync, it was a wonderful ensemble performance choreographed by Marlo Young-Sponga.
They were followed by the UTM Dance Team—not to be confused with the UTM Dance Club, which provides dancing for all levels and does not compete, while the UTM Dance Team does. Consisting of three female dancers performing to the James Bay song “Let It Go”, the UTM Dance Team was simply amazing. They were completely in sync and graceful.
Rhythm Performing Arts, a dance group that focuses on a variety of international dance forms, performed to a medley of international songs, with Enrique Iglesias’s “Bailando” among them. Their performance, Global Flare, was one of my favourites of the night; it was inspired by the Lavani and Pinga folk dances. The performers flowed together well, were confident, and looked like they were enjoying themselves. They were one of the only two groups with smiles on their faces throughout their performance.
Next up was a new dance group on campus called Euphoria, which was formed to combine technical training with performance skills. Perhaps because they were new, their group was noticeably out of sync at times and the medley of songs that they performed to did not flow together well. They ended their performance, Not Afraid, with Eminem’s song “Not Afraid”, an appropriate choice. Though the performance overall was underwhelming, the group definitely shows potential.
The first solo of the night was performed by Mariam Sanchez of the UTM Dance Team—who hadn’t performed during their first routine—to “Cavalier” by James Vincent McMorrow. Her graceful, emotional moves had the entire audience, including me, captivated.
The next performance was my favourite of the night. Three dancers from the Caribbean Connections danced to the sounds of the Caribbean, and their smiles and eye contact with each other combined with their energetic dance moves to create an amazing performance that earned them the biggest round of applause of the night.
They were followed by another solo performance from the UTM Dance Team. Laura Gillis, performing to “My Girl”, put on a terrific performance, with impressive flexibility and poise.
The UTM Dance Club returned with a routine named Avozinho, meaning “grandfather” in Portuguese, which was dedicated to the choreographer’s grandfather. Their slow, emotion-filled performance won them a large and well-deserved round of applause.
Next up was Style and Profyle, whose aim is to raise money and awareness for charity while also showcasing the arts. Their Cha Cha Sway performance to Dean Martin’s “Sway” was awesome, and though the only male dancer’s dancing was a bit off at times, they ended on a good note. Their performance was followed by another performance by the UTM Dance Team, which was on par with their last one.
One of the Euphoria dancers, Morgan Biss, danced solo to “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John. Though she seemed unsure of herself at times, her routine was well choreographed and impressive.
Rhythm Performing Arts danced to popular pop songs in their final performance, called World of Pop. They danced to “Here” by Alessia Cara, “Sorry” by Justin Bieber and—my favourite—“Bang Bang Bang” by the South Korean group BIGBANG. Their routine was lively, energetic, and earned lots of praise from the audience.
The UTM Dance Team returned for their final performance of the night. The four ladies tap danced to “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder and their confident smiles and footwork made the performance a pleasure to watch. It was one of the audience favourites, as well as mine.
The UTM Dance Club ended the show with an energetic hip-hop routine. This performance was better than their first one, and their song of choice—“Lose Control” by Missy Elliott—had the audience cheering and hooting.
This new event at UTM undoubtedly has the potential to continue to be a hit in the future.
This article has been corrected from the print edition. It originally misstated the name, language, and meaning of the UTM Dance Club’s routine Avozinho, which means “grandfather” in Portuguese. Also, Morgan Biss’s name was misspelled. In addition, Rhythm’s Global Flare performance did not recreate the additional choreography of two songs, but featured the traditional Lavani and Pinga dances. A notice will be printed in the March 7, 2016 issue.