Dancing through life, down at the AC

(Graphic by Steph Truong)

A new school year means a fresh start and an optimistic attitude towards your workout regime. The Athletic Complex offers many fitness classes and activities as an alternative to simply exercising at the gym. From recreational classes that run through the AC, to Laurier’s Competitive Dance Team, there’s something for dancers of all skill levels looking to infuse a little artistry into their work-out routine.

Open to all members of the Laurier community, the AC offers a comprehensive roster of dance classes for all skill levels. Recognizing that registering for a dance class can be intimidating, AC dance coordinator, and fourth-year student, Angelica Meigs aims to make the program as inclusive as possible by designating classes as beginner, intermediate or advanced.

“There’s something for everyone,” she said. “We have genres ranging from bollywood, to ballet, to contemporary and to hip hop.”

All classes are completely student run by instructors with extensive dance experience. Classes run for ten weeks across the semester, with the opportunity to perform at the semi-annual Dance Showcase, scheduled for Dec. 2.

“Every class is very high impact,” said Meigs. “It’s an amazing way to get sculpted and fit and feel better about yourself. Dance builds confidence.”

Registration ends this Friday, Sept. 21 and can be done through the recreation page on the Laurier Athletics website or in person at the AC.

The Verdict: The scheduled classes are a great way to stay on top of your workouts. Some classes provide a welcome challenge, but all are a lot of fun and a great way to meet new people.

Competing in jazz, tap, lyrical, hip hop, open, contemporary and acro, the team consists of 35 to 40 very dedicated dancers. From coaching to choreography, the team is entirely student run and in the past year has earned impressive results.

“At two competitions we were named the first overall university dance team,” said co-captain Allesandra Santaguida.

Competing against 22 Ontario postsecondary institutions in March, the team practices for an average of ten hours per week in order to achieve their top marks. While the majority of team members have competitive experience, it’s not necessary to join the team or to try out.

“We mostly look for committed people who like to be on a team, work hard and love to dance,” said Santaguida. “Your talent is important, but your personality is just as important.”

For those who missed Sunday’s audition, a makeup date will be held this Friday, Sept. 21.

The Verdict: Having seen the team perform last spring, it’s no wonder why we’re ranked number one.   The team not only excels in technique, but they’re excellent performers as well.

ALIAS and O.U.C.H.
After a two-year hiatus, Laurier will be making a return to Ontario’s inter-university hip hop competition. Run by Laurier students Adriana Doncillo and Mike Tam, this group is open to dancers of all levels. While only 17 dancers will make the team, anyone with a love of hip hop is welcome to come out and learn the routine.

“Although we have an O.U.C.H. team, what we wanted to do was have a club for beginners and advanced dancers,” said team captain Doncillo.

The competition date is set for November 17 and auditions for the competitive team are this Saturday, Sept. 22 from 1-5p.m. in the AC classroom. Regular practices are tentatively scheduled for Thursday and Sunday nights. Beginner sessions, to be held at Laurier and UW are also in the works. “We want it to be a community thing,” Doncillo said. “More than just a school thing.”

The Verdict: This group seems ideal for dancers of all levels with a love of hip hop. Advanced dancers will gain competitive experience from participating in O.U.C.H., while beginners have the opportunity to learn and improve dancing alongside the competitive team.

As the name suggests, Fashion ‘n Motion (F n’ M) puts on an annual dance and fashion show for charity. This year the charity is the Sick Kids Foundation, which helps sick children as well as their families. F n’ M rehearses every Sunday throughout the school year, and incorporates a diverse range of dance styles from burlesque to broadway and showcases local designers and fashion lines. They also host events throughout the year with various campus clubs including L.U.C.K. to bolster charity awareness. Each year, the show has a theme, this year it’s Ignite. F n’ M president and fifth-year psychology student Noelle Antkowiak said it’s all about “seeing that potential in you, seeing that fire you have inside you and showing the world what you got.” An inclusive environment F n’ M is open to dancers of all skill level.

“I have no dance experience,” said Antkowiak.  “Honestly, the choreographers make me look really good.”

Seeking a cast of approximately 120, auditions will be held on September 30 from 12-2 p.m. and choreography applications are due this Thursday at 5 p.m.

“We’re looking for people that want to come out, be social, meet people and just have fun with it,” said Ankowiak. “That’s all kind of what we do. And at the end of the day it’s for charity.”

The Verdict: I would recommend it for anyone who loves to dance and be a part of tight-knit community. F n’ M is a fun way to get fit and meet new people, while raising money for a great cause.

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