Arts Unlimited and Mahogany Dance Theater hosted the second annual “United We Dance” showcase in Lee Hall Auditorium Monday.
Dancers from troupes at Florida A&M University and Florida State University united to display their talent, and celebrate the diversity among the organizations.
According to Shepiro Hardemon, founder of Mahogany dance troupe and executive director of Arts Unlimited, the showcase is a way for dancers to have a good time while raising money for their organization. Each dance troupe that participated in the showcase will receive $500.
“I’m aware of all the expenses associated with maintaining a dance team,” says Hardemon, who is also founded the FAMU Strikers. “By participating in this event troupes are able to raise money to go towards things like production cost and costumes”.
The show began with a tribute to reggae dance performed by Onyx: The Artistically Inclined, from Florida State University.
Throughout the program , the performances varied from hip-hop and break dance to traditional modern and ballet.
All of the ten participating teams put together elaborate performances, many of which incorporated unique costumes, lighting and formations into the performance.
Newly established organizations found “United We Dance” to be an excellent way for dancers to show how they support each other as artists.
“I think this is a great program,” says Porche Anthony, a 19-year-old psychology major from Washington and choreographer for FAMU’s Vibrant Dance Unit. “I like the fact that this is not a competition, just teams coming together to appreciate the art of dance.”
The energy level of the audience and the hosts was a positive contribution to the vibe of the showcase.
“I think it was such a big success because everyone was feeding off of each other’s energy,” said Herold Macajoux, 23, a junior economics student from Miami. “We had a packed house, the crowd was hyped, and the teams had a good sense of camaraderie. I hope we can do this again.”
Although audience members seemed pleased, students say certain elements could have been added to the program to make for a better production.
“The show could have been better,” said Nicki Pierre, 18, a freshman business administration student from Fort Lauderdale. “They were lacking a DJ and there should have been a time limit for some of the performances.”
At the end of the show all the dance troupes collaborated to perform a choreographed tribute to different areas in the United States including, the Midwest, Georgia and South Florida.
“I really liked the ending, when all the teams united” said Maria Shelton, a freshman general studies student from Misawa, Japan. “That was the best part of the show.”
Overall, audience felt the dance teams did an excellent job of creating unique and entertaining pieces for the show.
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