Ebonites showcase dance diversity

Winthrop students displayed their dance skills and diversity Thursday night in Tillman Auditorium. Dance in Motion, a subcommittee of the Association of Ebonites hosted “So You Think You Can Dance,” a dance contest that raised money for their organization’s dance recital in April.

The competition featured six different students competing in various styles of dance. The event was modeled after the Fox TV program, “So You Think You Can Dance.”

“The goal for tonight was to raise money for our annual recital in April, and to also bring dance diversity to Winthrop’s campus,” said Grace Tucker, chairperson for Dance in Motion and organizer of the event.

The event’s competitors were Malwina Gautier, Johann Kwang, Lustra Miller, Kelsey Edwards, Lauren Miller and Lekeisha Robinson.

International students Gautier of Paris and Kwang  of French Polynesia danced in the competition. Both performed a hip-hop dance number.

Kwang says that dancing is his life and that he is starting a hip-hop dance club at Winthrop. The club is opened to dancers of all skill levels.

After the first round performances were finished, the audience enjoyed a skills demonstration by the Taekwondo Club and a recreation of a scene from the 2010 movie “The Last Airbender” by the Chinese Martial Arts Association.

Robinson, Miller and Edwards were then declared the winners of the first round and asked to dance a new number for the final round.

Miller started off the second round with a lyrical dance number to “Do you Want to Dance?” by Bette Midler, followed by Edwards contemporary performance to “Fool of Me” by Me’ Shell Ndegéocello. The competition’s final performance was a jazz/funk piece by Robinson performed to Esthero’s “Wikked Lil’ Grrrls”.

The Winthrop University Spirit Squad performed a jazz/hip-hop/poms dance for the audience while the judges tallied up the final votes.

The winners were announced and coincidentally placed in the same order as they performed that round: Miller first, Edwards second and Robinson third.

All three winners were awarded gift cards to the university bookstore.

“I actually really liked it. It was very diverse,” said Anyia Polanco, a sophomore entrepreneurship major from Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Gautier and Kwang said the show’s overall performance was very good.

“Too bad no hip-hop was taken for the top three, only modern dance,” Kwang said.

Tucker said she really wanted the audience to get a sense of “enlightenment” from the event.

“You really don’t get to see a lot of dance performances on campus. If you do, it’s in Johnson Theatre, and its $10 to see that,” Tucker said. “Or you might have to go off campus or even Charlotte to see dance diversity, but you can come right to Tillman Auditorium and you can see hip-hop, break dance, lyrical, and you can get an exposure that you haven’t gotten.”

If you would like more information on Winthrop’s new break dancing club, contact Johann Kwang at kwangj2@winthrop.edu.

Special To The Johnsonian

"Special to the Johnsonian" is usually reserved for freelance writers around Winthrop's campus.

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