Dance companies strut their stuff

Strikers Dance Troupe performing the Ryde out at the Fall preview 2023. Photo courtesy: Tyler Curry

Florida A&M students gathered at Lee Hall Auditorium Saturday night to watch the Strikers Dance Troupe and Mahogany Dance Theater fall preview dance showcase. The lovely ladies of TorQue and spoken word poetry performances were among the special guests for the performance, which was divided into two acts.

This will be both group’s second fall preview, with the last one taking place in fall 2022. This show previews the fall premier showcase at the end of the semester.

The president of the Strikers Dance Troupe, Lex Dortelus, introduced the Strikers’ first routine to begin the show. The audience’s interest was captured by a variety of dance genres that were performed by both groups. The show concluded with Shepiro Hardemon, the founder of both companies, speaking at the end and giving props to all dancers involved in the show and its planning.

Tyler Curry, a third-year health leisure studies major, serves as vice president for The Strikers dance troupe. Curry said both groups have been preparing for the show since the start of the semester. He discussed the amount of effort both companies put forth leading up to the performance.

“The planning of the showcase was definitely a collaboration of the Strikers and Mahogany’s e-board,” Curry said. “The weeks leading up to the performance, we all rehearsed three times a week, but the week of the performance, we had performances every single day to prepare.”

Marley Pinto, a senior pre-physical therapy major who serves as president of Mohogany Dance Theater, also spoke on the work it took to make a show like this happen. Their founder played a big part in advising the e-boards on how to run a successful show.

“Our founder, Shepiro Hardeman, definitely gives us advice on venues and people to speak to and uses his direction and advice to help us put on the show from there.”

Due to the popularity of both organizations on FAMU’s campus, Mahogany has performed at some significant events on campus. Mahogany recently performed at the inauguration of SGA and Andre Green’s memorial. Pinto mentioned Mahogany’s other endeavors coming up soon.

We have an intensive this week that gives students the opportunity to see what Mahogany is really like outside of just performing,” Pinto said. “We’re hosting different dance classes and things we’ve learned in our past.”

At FAMU, the Mahogany Dance Theater and Strikers Dance Troupe are preserving the dance community and its artistic tradition.