One team will be crowned “Penn State’s Best Dance Crew ” when dance companies on campus compete at 6 tonight in Heritage Hall.
The competition is presented by Infusion, a group that also plans and facilitates a nationally-recognized intercollegiate Indian fusion dance competition Nidhi Desai, Infusion registration overall, said.
“Our main goal is the Infusion dance competition in March, but we thought this would be a good way for teams to come together and watch each other’s talents,” Desai (senior-accounting and communication arts and sciences) said.
One participating team is Tapestry , a 30-member tap group that incorporates styles such as jazz, hip-hop and contemporary dance into its routines, Lauren Kolarik , Tapestry president, said.
The group will be performing a routine to “Freeze” by T-Pain and is looking forward to the rare opportunity to compete against some of the other groups on campus, Kolarik (senior-accounting) said.
“There is kind of a dance competition within the routine itself, so it seemed appropriate for this event,” she said. “We perform at a lot of the same events [as the other groups], but never in the same showcase.”
Tahira West , president of another participating group, NOMMO , agreed that there are not a lot of opportunities to interact with other dance groups.
“Typically, NOMMO has partnered with a few other dance teams, but nothing like this,” West (senior-mathematics) said.
NOMMO is a West African dance company that aims to spread African culture across campus through dance and drums, West said.
“We’re compiling a few dances to showcase the West African style that we do,” West said.
The group will perform a traditional celebratory dance for the competition, West said. As is the case with all of NOMMO’s performances, its routine will include both dancers and drummers, she added.
With such a variety of dancing styles in the competition, Desai had to enlist a diverse panel of judges. The winner will be determined by three judges with dance backgrounds in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, Chinese and Indian dance, Desai said.
With tap being such a unique style of dance, Tapestry has a pretty good chance of winning, Kolarik said.
“You’re not only dancing along with the rhythm of the music, but you’re also making a melody as you tap,” Kolarik added.
West said that the different styles of dance would make judging difficult, but that winning was not the most important part.
“We just want to be seen and then see others and really appreciate all of the other forms of dance,” West said. “We’re going to do what we do the best and hope that can bring us to the top.”
In addition to the title of Penn State’s Best Dance Crew, the winning team will receive a trophy and $300 worth of prizes, including tickets to the main Infusion dance competition, Desai said.
Other teams competing in the event include RAM Squad , PSIDE, JaDhoom , Peace. Love. Lyrical. Dance Company , Volé , Urban Dance Troupe and Belly Dance Club .