Quintessential Kenyon: Student Life, Uncut

Meet the Dance Team: Kenyon's Flyest Hiphop Crew

Ariana Chomitz
February 27, 2013

As a freshman I imagined my dance team "senior game" going down with a solid crew of wonderful friends, performing a fun, crowd-rousing piece (of my own choreography) and getting a little emotional in the moments before stepping onto the court. In an unexpected twist, this is all exactly what happened last weekend.

Our 2013 Lineup: Seniors in the front!

Dance Team is Kenyon's entirely student-run hiphop crew, and yes, we are known as just Dance Team.  We all come from different dance backgrounds--ballet, tap, ballroom-- but it all culminates in a hiphop fusion which represents our talented range and swag secret alter egos. Most people know us for our halftime performances during basketball season, but you can also see us break it down at other school events like "Love Your Body" Week, our annual spring dance concert, and, of course, any parties with bumping music and enough floor space.  

In a team that, necessarily, turns over every four years, legacy is an entirely oral thing.  The way dance team appears today is influenced by the stories we heard as freshmen from our role models, the seniors.  We would listen in as they talked about their alumni friends and their successes and mistakes in past shows, and we became keepers of these legends simply from joining in this dance studio gossip. The seniors this year recently realized that next year will be Dance Team's 10th year, although we know nothing about our "creation myth." Who were the first dancers? It's been lost to history. Dance Team is unusual in this regard, as other student organizations have a clear vision of where they've come from and where they're going.

I think I've become one of the senior girls that I always looked up to.  I've choreographed a few performances per year, developing what I guess is "my style" and learning how to take the lead and teach my peers.   When the senior girls leave, we'll be taking with us almost half the team's dancers, a lot of trial-and-error knowledge about how to organize shows, and (if I must be honest) some of the "stronger" personalities on the team. In my Mother-Hen mode, I find myself worrying, "How will my little girls manage without us?!"

But five girls gone means room for five more.  The culture of the team will change drastically, with fresh inspiration and new directions.  If we were any indication, legends of Dance Team will still be passed on during those moments of sitting around before practice, tying sneakers, stretching out, and then someone begins, "You guys didn't know her, but three years ago there was this senior who..."