Strikers and Mahogany team up to make Gaither come alive

Dancers from Mahogany Dance Theatre closing out performance photo by Dy’min Cannon

The Strikers Dance Troupe and Mahogany Dance Theatre merged at Gaither Gymnasium Saturday for the winter premiere of “UNBREAKABLE.” 

Students, alumni, faculty and community members gathered to watch the performances.

Keshawnna Burnette, a fall 2019 member of Mahogany Dance Troupe, shared her first experience. 

“I was super nervous to perform on the stage tonight. The crowd was so loud that we could hear them scream from the dressing room. As a collective, I think we came together and performed a great show. I am very satisfied with my performance and lucky to be a part of such an amazing organization,” she said.

The show included a powerful performance by the Strikers and Mahogany, which showcased supreme artistic and flexible abilities. The piece was choreographed by Tyrell Rolle and titled “Endless Soldier.” 

The energy of the show created by the performers flowed straight to the audience members. 

Alexandria Perry, a third-year student from Jacksonville, was more than impressed with the show.

“The Strikers and Mahogany dance team never disappoints me. Their organization is so structured and organized. The show started on time and ended on time. After every show, I always feel good. Both dance teams always set the standard for other dance teams on campus. They never disappoint me or make me feel as though I have wasted my money,” she said.

The Strikers closed out the show and pumped up the crowd with their traditional “ride out” piece, “Loyal Rider,” that was choreographed by Parnell Williams. 

Williams, the Strikers’ artistic director, shared his thoughts about the show. 

“Overall, the show was very good. Everyone met my expectation. Every time I talk to my guys, I always tell them to leave it on the floor and give it to God. We had a few trials, tribulations and minor setbacks and I felt like the devil was trying to set us back. But, when you have God on your side everything will always be victorious. That is one of the main things I brought to this organization is the love of God and the love of Christ. We make sure we put him first in whatever we do,” he said. 

Tickets cost $5 in advance from members or $10 at the door. For more information and events about SDT and MDT, visit @famumahogany and @strikersdancetroupe on Instagram for updates on upcoming fundraisers and performances.