The Strikers Dance Troupe and Mahogany Dance Theatre present “Another Bad Creation,” their annual Spring Excursion. The showcase is April 4 and 5 at 8 p.m. in Lee Hall Auditorium.
Established in 1989 with only 10 members, the Strikers have gained nationwide recognition. They have performed on MTV’s Spring Break show “Fame or Shame” and at the world renowned Apollo Theatre. Not only are they a dance troupe, but the group helps recruit students to FAMU.
“Once I saw them on ‘Showtime at the Apollo,’ I knew it was something I wanted to do when I got here,” said Philip Hamilton, 18, a freshman pharmacy student from Miami who eagerly awaits his first excursion performance.
Mahogany was founded in 1997 and has since made a name for themselves on campus and throughout major cities like Atlanta and Miami. Shepiro Hardemon, founder of the Strikers and Mahogany, said they are separate entities that are considered a brother and sister dance troupes.
“I love seeing Mahogany dance,” said Jessica Bryant, 21, a business administration student from Palm City, Fla. “I want to see more of their theatrical dancing because it gives a new meaning to grace and poise.”
Hardemon has a vision to catapult the groups to the next level of distinction.
“We’ve grown and seen major differences since the first [Strikers’] show in 1990,” Hardemon said. “For example, the costumes are more extravagant and we’ve advanced from the gymnasium to Lee Hall.”
Hardemon intends to continue to add new elements to the shows. His idea to do so involves choreography that is “more exciting, challenging and innovative.”
NeShae Williams, the artistic director for Mahogany, agrees that the shows will continue to creatively progress through their performances and routines.
“Show goers can expect to see a high energy performance with creative routines from choreographer Allen Gartrell,” Williams said. “One particular piece is a synergy of club, house and jazz music.”
The Strikers and Mahogany also receive praise from members of other dance companies on campus.
“I admire their efforts,” said Tiffany Smalls, 20, a junior pharmacy student from Fort Lauderdale and a member of Divas Dance Troupe.
“They have an incredible amount of talent and they are not afraid to try new techniques while incorporating what people like to see. I think they have exceeded everyone’s expectations and there is no stopping them.”
Yolonda Reid can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.