Dance-off to prove who has the moves

There aren’t many events that showcase all the premiere dance troupes on Florida A&M University’s campus while also promoting student unity. This is why the fourth annual Dance-Off on Thursday at 7 p.m. is such an electrifying event.

“I think it’s going to be different than other showcases. It’s entertaining, but also dedicated to dance,” said Vadoline Ivy, a second year MBA candidate from Lakeland, Fla., who is working on the planning committee for the event.

Founded in 2002 by Arian Reed, a FAMU graduate who also founded the Michigan Club’s Faking Da Funk event, Dance-Off has become a staple on FAMU’s campus.

Dance-Off is a joint event hosted by the Beta Alpha Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Inc., the freshman class and the sophomore class. The object is to showcase the premiere dance talents on FAMU’s campus, particularly those new to the campus.

This year the line-up for the “Dance-Off” includes Divas, Mahogany, Vibrance Dance Unit, Essence, Boyz of Poison, House Arrest II, Elite and Torque. These groups are competing for a grand prize of $350 and the title of best dance group in Tallahassee.

“This is healthy competition and it helps the dance groups strive to become a better troupe. It also helps bring the mystery about who is the best dance troupe to an end,” said Gallop Franklin, 18, a first year pharmacy student from Tallahassee.

Cherlise Forshee, 20, a third year business administration student from Miami, said she is honored to take part in an event that promotes artistic expression and focuses on the different aspects of dance.

The all dance showcase gives troupes a chance to perform dances that wouldn’t be possible in other venues.

“It’s the only showcase on campus that’s all dance, it makes the dancers step it up a little because they know other dance groups are there,” said Michael Carter, 21, a fourth year accounting major from Miami, who is a member of the Strikers, which won’t be in the showcase because of a scheduled performance in New York.

Doneesha Dixon, a third year business administration student from Orlando, said that regardless of whether it’s a competition or not, her organization always makes sure each performance is better than the one before.

“Our goal is to entertain the crowd,” Dixon said.

Others are excited about the collaboration between the freshman class, the sophomore class and the Beta Alpha Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Inc.

“There is a good representation of everybody putting the event together,” said Bethany Jones, 19, a second year engineering student from Houston, Texas, who is the co-chair of this event.

“Dancers that don’t often get recognized will have an opportunity to show their talents,” said Lamar Myers, 21, a second year business administration student from Titusville, Fla. and president of the sophomore class.

This exposure gives students new to FAMU a chance to see what their school has to offer.

“It’s a good way to find out about what troupes are on campus and students may discover their own talents,” Dixon said. “They will be exposed to the diversity of dance. Some people may not be able to do ballet or modern dance but may find they like hip-hop dance.”

Carter said the ultimate success of this event is that 10 percent of all proceeds go toward a dance team program in the Tallahassee area.

Contact LaToya Russell at