Lively dance comes to Lyman
J’Mari Hughes – Reporter
The Lyman Center quickly went from an quiet auditorium to an eccentric arena full of dancing students filed in for Symphonic Pulse Dance Company’s fall showcase last Thursday.
“We’re here to showcase the different dancers in our community,” said Tia Gardner of the SCSU Dance Team. “We all do something different but we all love to dance so it’s really to get everybody involved and to show all of our talents.”
Southern gathered SPDC, fraternities, multicultural dance clubs, and more to perform in the final dance show of the semester. Hosting the show were twins Justin and Quentin Kelly.
“It helps me, it gives me a lot of adrenaline,” senior and performer Chika Okeke said about the audience reactions. “It’s a good feeling.”
Four year team member Okeke performed alongside the rest of Southern’s Steppin’ Up Drill Team who opened their act with a sequence of flashing black and white as a strobe lights shined for the first portion of the routine, Okeke’s favorite part.
It was the strobe light, as well as the sassy snap to end SCSU Dance Team’s routine and Phi Beta Sigma’s Fortnite hype that got the spectators yelling. Audience member Natalie Hinton said the dancers’ performance is typically based on reaction from the crowd.
“Obviously people on stage want that kind of energy for when they perform,” she said. “It makes it a fun environment.”
Hinton said boredom and the fact that the show was free was what prompted her to tag along with her friend Davonna Best who had sent her a flyer to attend.
“It’s always fun here,” Best, who comes to every show said. “The dancers are doing great like they always do.”
The intermission was not conventional. The crowd did not vanish to use the rest room or get snacks. Their attention, instead, was diverted to Jade, the little girl who joined the Kelly’s onstage to kick off an unplanned dance battle. Soon she was accompanied by several small children including a toddler.
“When those kids went onstage I was impressed because that took bravery,” three year SPDC member Chelsea Eubanks said, calling it both funny and cute. “They were just random kids that loved to dance and wanted to show everyone.”
Another attendee, Justin Cross, said he attended the show for the first time after being invited by a friend. Upon seeing the dancers come out and, as he said, “do their thing,” Cross said he would most definitely come see another show.
“I’ve got nothing else going on so I might as well come and support the teams,” he said. “I love the energy here. It’s a good time.”
Tia Gardner said they had about three weeks preparation before the event. After devoting their time to dance rehearsals, she said that while they become exhausted, it ends up being worth it.
“We put a lot of thought into this dance because we knew this was a bigger showcase than what we’re used to,” she said
Fellow dancer Tashaney Johnson said she thinks the audience respects the dedication the dancers put towards their art, as they are all college students who must devote their time to school and work.
“There’s so much we have to go through, so much to deal with,” she said. “So much to do and so little time. For us to take that extra bit of time we have to come together and practice dancing, I think they’re amazed by it.”
Photo Credit: J’Mari Hughes