Dance groups unite at Dance-a-thon

Kendall Aronson, Campus Carrier Asst. Arts & Living Editor

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Dance Troupe, Vikettes, Zumba and Swing and Ballroom came together on Saturday to host their first-ever collaborative event, encouraging students to get involved in a variety of different dance styles.

On April 7 in the large Cage multipurpose room, the first-ever Dance-a-thon was unveiled to the public. Dance-a-thon is the only event that has incorporated all four of the dance groups on campus: the Vikettes, Swing and Ballroom, the Dance Troupe and Zumba. 

Senior Gabriella Rivas, the manager for Dance Troupe and the co-president for Swing and Ballroom has acted as the planner, designer and coordinator for this event. She proposed the idea of Dance-a-thon to her advisor, lecturer of dance Jeanne Schul, and then began coordinating with the other dance organizations to organize the event. Rivas said she has been in charge of everything regarding logistics for the event.

Rivas’ goal for the event is to welcome everyone to the dance culture on campus and to show people how they can get involved with different dance organizations and meet those involved with them. 

“Some of the feedback that we’ve heard is that dance is very intimidating and that sometimes some of the dance groups can be a little intimidating, especially with people who might be interested in exploring dance but don’t have that much experience,” Rivas said. “What we are trying to do is to communicate to students to come out and meet us, see what we are all about, and find out how they can get involved.”

Sophomore Amanda Tomlinson, the assistant company manager for Dance Troupe, has helped with publicity for the event. She said that all of the dance groups on campus are working towards a common goal, so uniting and working together like this makes a lot of sense. 

“We just want to promote dance as an art form but also as a pastime,” Tomlinson said. 

Rivas said there are many great benefits to learning dance, both as a method of exercise and as an outlet for self expression.

“Dance is a great skill to have, whether you pursue it on a performance level or as a way to learn ballroom, I think getting an awareness of your body and being able to move through your body is a fantastic skill to have regardless of what you’re doing.”

The greatest challenge when planning the event was coordinating with the schedules of all of the different dance organizations on campus. This weekend was the only weekend that all the groups were available.

Sophomore Chris Arnold, a Zumba instructor, began the event with a Zumba class. He hopes that this event can help to grow the dance program to become as large as other collegiate sports. 

“I think it’s a great opportunity for anyone willing to try something new,” Arnold said. “Don’t be afraid to do something you’ve never done before.”

The dance programs would like to continue this program as a yearly event in the future. 

“I hope that people get inspired through Dance-a-thon and they get inspired and they get involved,” Rivas said.

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