Strikers, Mahogany perfecting new show

Lights, action, Hollywood! Although the Strikers and Mahogany Dance Theatre may not be Jay-Z and Beyonce, they plan to welcome everyone to Hollywood. Friday in Lee Hall, the Strikers along with Mahogany present “Welcome to Hollywood.” “We have the welcome to Hollywood attitude. The show is classy and professional,” said Hendrick Shackleton, a 22-year-old senior elementary education student from Miami. Shackleton said this show seems to be one that patrons won’t soon forget.

“People can expect an energetic and excitement-filled show,” said George Burns, a 19-year-old freshman pre-pharmacy student from Tallahassee and a member of the Strikers. “There is great choreography, and it’s an overall good show.”

There will be several scenes in the event. One notable scene is dedicated to Nefertiti Williams, a FAMU student tragically murdered in November 2006.

“I feel like it’s a privilege for people in our show to be able to honor her by dancing,” Burns said. “It’s positive, and it honors her family and her memory.”

Another scene, featuring Mahogany, mimics the main dance scene in “Coming to America.”

In order to prepare a Hollywood-like performance, both dance troupes have been practicing overtime.

Tiffany Taylor, Mahogany’s artistic director, said rehearsals have been running from around 7-11 p.m. “And on Saturdays we have marathon practices where we practice almost all day,” she said.

In addition to longer practices, the Strikers said they feel they’ve worked harder as well. “We’ve been preparing since January and working twice as hard as normal,” Shackleton said. Shackleton also serves as the rehearsal director. Taylor added, “We rehearse every day, we’ve been working very hard.”

The dancers are critiqued until each scene is perfect. Shepiro Hardemon, founder of the Strikers and artistic director, reviews each scene and explains what needs to be done in order to perfect them.

“Good enough is not going to work. It needs to be perfect,” Hardemon said.

Although the Strikers are the headliners, Mahogany plans to add their own flair. “We’re going to add that extra pizzazz. We’re adding our own emotion and piece of spice to the show,” said Ceiffawn Wetherspoon, a 20-year-old junior criminal justice student from Miami.

Darra Demps, a 20-year-old senior education student from Miami, agreed with her dance mates’ sentiments.”Mahogany is going to add a completely different style of jazz and technical dance to the show,” she said.