So you think you can dance, Dalhousie?

- November 27, 2008

Gotta dance! Members of Dalhousie Dance Performance Team include Jenna Larter, Ashton Parker, Janelle Warren, Kristen Tapson, Kailey Hilchie, Jaime Custance, Courtney McCarthy and Sarah Fallis. (Nick Pearce Photo)

Members of the new Dalhousie Dance Performance Team don’t just think they can dance, they know it.

And now with a few gigs set up to entertain at sporting events, others will know it too.
It’s all good, says Janelle Warren, the group’s founder and choreographer. “It’s good exercise, good fun, good music, good dancing and good people.”

Their style is hip hop, with fast moves and high energy. The second-year biology major says she started the performance team because there wasn’t the opportunity for her to continue her dancing after high school.

“The hardest thing for me is teaching it. It’s hard to teach people to move a certain way if they aren’t feeling it,” says Ms. Warren, 20.

Although hip hop looks casual, it requires a lot of technique and involves timing and speed. Plus the dancer has to be good at isolating specific body parts.

“I love it when the routine’s totally done and it’s perfected. Everything just looks balling when it’s totally done,” says team member Kailey Hilchie. “The thrill of performing is probably the best part.”

The 10 team members practice every Monday night at the Studley gymnasium. They start with head rolls, ribcage slides, and hip isolations. Then on to crunches, planks, leg raises and stretches.

After the warm up, the dancers practice the routine Ms. Warren has choreographed. The dancers are bouncing, turning, spinning and bobbing so fast that they are completing several moves per second.

“The movements have to be so sharp and perfect with the music to make it look really effective,” explains Ms. Hilchie.


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