Troupes come together for annual dance performance

“United We Dance” served as a medium for seven dance troupes to come together Friday night at Lee Hall and show off their talents in a non-competitive way.

It was hosted by Arts Unlimited and Mahogany dance theatres.

The event, which is in its third year, was created by Shepiro Hardemon, founder of Mahogany and the Florida A&M University Strikers.

Hardemon said he felt there was a need for dance organizations to come together in a show that would “promote camaraderie and profit everyone.” Troupes were given $500 for their performances, Hardemon said.

In addition to the Strikers and Mahogany, FAMU dance groups Elite, Divas, the Venom Dancers, House Arrest II and Florida State University’s Kollage Dance Troupe performed.

Each dance team, which was allotted nine minutes to perform, had its own group of supporters in the audience.

The show opened with Divas, who came out in bright shirts and matching leg warmers. The crowd went wild as the dancers did a mini-tribute to the Islands.

Following Divas were the Venom Dancers, who received resounding “boos” from the crowd. Hardemon said this upset him because he felt this behavior did not promote the show’s purpose.

FAMU Elite members said they were happy with their performance, whose theme was “So Seductive.” Even though members of the newly inducted class did not perform, their screams of support were heard throughout the auditorium.

House Arrest II’s dancing skills and precise execution drove the crowd wild.

Some audience members said they believed House Arrest II’s performance was one of the best.

“House Arrest II always puts on a very exciting show, and I’m glad that they are consistent,” said Martesha Williams, a sophomore political science student from Fort Lauderdale. “I especially liked the breakdown part where they danced provocatively.”

The Strikers proved to be the main crowd pleasers. The act’s energy level encouraged the audience to cheer and get into the performance’s hip hop vibe.

The dancers used rims and tires as props for their performance to the song “Throw Some Ds” by Rich Boy. The finale consisted of slow dances and roses.

FSU’s Kollage performed to conclude the night.

Ashley Johnson, the show’s co-host, said she felt the event was successful. 

“As a dancer, I am typically very critical of my art,” Johnson said. “This year everyone did an excellent job. I was very pleased.”

Jamila Cisse, vice president of House Arrest II and a senior criminal justice student from Chicago, said she hopes “United We Dance” will continue to be a part of FAMU’s list of shows.

“United We Dance is a great thing that should be kept here at FAMU for the simple fact that in life, there will always be competition,” Cisse said. “This showcase presents a unified front among talented people and is a great example of how we should be in our everyday lives.”