The stage was set, the crowd was pumped, and the spotlight was shining. On Saturday night, the bleachers of FAMU’s Gaither Gym were overflowing with students, faculty, families and friends as the dancers of Strikers Dance Troupe and Mahogany Dance Theatre performed their last dance show of the fall 2016 semester, Tunnel Vision.
Maryah Crews, the president of MDT explained, SDT and MDT spent several hours in dance rehearsals the week before the show perfecting their moves for the concert.
“Rehearsal can be very tiring because we’re all dealing with stress from studying for our final exams,” said Crews. “However, I feel that with the talented group of dancers we have this semester, the show is going to be amazing. So, all of this hard work will be worth it,” she continued.
MDT rehearsal director Zomora De La Rosa and SDT rehearsal director Ajah Smith spent hours running each of their company’s dance shows back to back. Although the dancers began to grow tiresome, it was their job to continue to push them out of their comfort zones. This intense training resulted in an electrifying show.
“Preparing a full concert is very stressful … I just have to make sure that we’re all bringing the heat” Smith said.
The show included a powerful jazz performance by the men of MDT, which showcased supreme artistic and technical abilities, an intense modern piece by SDT entitled “Slavery,” and a beautiful contemporary performance.
The electricity of the show flowed from the performers to the audience members as many of the attendees could be seen standing and watching in awe.
Junior public relations student Yayri Hazell, expressed her reaction during the performances.
“I couldn’t stop yelling,” said Hazell. “Everybody who got on the stage was dancing his or her hearts out. It was amazing to watch,” Hazell said.
The show also included high-energy hip hop performances from MDT, SDT, and the ladies of Dance Like a Striker which in turn made the night truly unforgettable for performers and audience members alike.
“This was one of the best dance shows that I have seen on FAMU’s campus” said Spencer Rasberry, junior pre-occupational therapy student. “It was also fun being a part of the audience,” he said.
SDT closed the show and brought down the house with their signature “ride out” piece as the audience roared.
“I haven’t seen a premiere performance like that since Fall 2010” said Shepiro Hardemon, artistic director and founder of SDT and MDT. “I am extremely proud of both companies and I look forward to a fun spring season,” he exclaimed.
For more information about SDT and MDT, visit @famumahogany and @strikersdancetroupe on Instagram for updates on upcoming auditions, fundraisers, and performances.