Urban Beats Crew Plans Full Season, Seeks New Members
By Isabelle Barberio – Staff Writer
“Beats on three!”
The empowering words chanted by Urban Beats Crew members the night before their performances echo throughout the dance studio. A group of dancers, some who have spent their life performing and some who picked up dance as a hobby, make up the campus hip-hop team.
Different from the University’s Dance Team, UBC is a self-run dance team that choreographs its own dances and organizes its own performances. The group recently held tryouts for the fall semester, where they were eager to meet new members and grow the team. Because they don’t perform at sporting events or at a national dance competition, they are not as well-known as the University’s Dance Team. UBC relies on campus wide events such as the club fair and family weekend to showcase its talents and meet people interested in joining their club.
President Marilena Kumbios remembers seeing UBC at the club fair her freshman year and knowing knew it was the club for her.
“I knew I wanted to continue dancing after high school, and seeing UBC at the club fair, and how welcoming and energetic they were, really made me want to sign up and try out even more.”
The coronavirus pandemic made it difficult for the club to meet and practice in person due to limited space and the University’s quarantine rules. The changes affected members’ ability to organize a year full of shows, but this year they have the opportunity to dance at all their planned performances.
Secretary Sierra Peiffer couldn’t contain her excitement when asked what she was most looking forward to this semester.
“What am I not looking forward to? This is the first seemingly normal year since COVID hit and I am so stoked to have a full year of all our performances.”
The group spends months practicing to perform at events throughout the year and then at the end of the spring semester, they perform a showcase of every dance they learned.
“Every time we perform at events, we get such amazing and positive compliments and feedback which really hypes us up and is good to hear.” Kumbios said.
This semester the officers hope to build the harmony and relationship of the team. In the dance world, teams perform better when they are comfortable with each other and share the same passions. Peiffer wants to improve on this, saying “I feel like in my past experiences on dance teams, the team looks so much better, and the timing is so much sharper when the team is in harmony. Achieving that would really help our team be that much better.”
Due to the size of their club, members of UBC get to know each other on a deep level. They are a small group that practices two to three days a week, which makes it easy for them to bond and create memories. Vice President Kayla Murray emphasized the importance of group bonding, saying “As a club, I want each and every member to feel like they are included and an important part of the team.”
Dance and performing is something that many of the members wanted to continue when they got to college and finding a group like UBC has helped them adapt to living away from home and the college experience. Treasurer Arissa Chambers says that UBC is different from anything else here on campus. “The people, the atmosphere, the opportunity to do really fun dances made by our very own teammates are all things that make this team a close-knit and positive group.”
Dance is a form of personal expression and being a part of UBC, members are able to express themselves through their dances and choreography. It’s important to the officers that members get the opportunity to express themselves, grow friendships and dance while still having fun.
Murray said “I have always had a love for dance and this was a way to continue that passion while also having fun.”
If anyone is interested in joining this amazing group, reach out to Marilena Kumbios at email@example.com