Catamount Dance Crew breaks it down

Ira Allen Chapel was aglow in fluorescent stage lighting, full of bassey rap and hip-hop classics on Saturday, April 9. Varying cultural styles of both music and dance were showcased and embraced at the annual Catamount Dance Crew (CDC) performance. Alongside the Hoop Dance Club, Orchesis Dance Company, the Salsa and Swing Society, UVM Dance Team and Celtic Cats, the pews were filled with a groovin’ audience. “I have seen CDC’s work before, and I think they are amazing,” sophomore and Orchesis choreographer Michelle Marion said. “CDC, like Orchesis and other groups on campus, is completely student-run, and always puts on a bangin’ showcase.” From 7-9:30 p.m. music ranging from reggae to old school to the crowd-pleasing song “Pass That Dutch” by Missy Elliot boomed through the speakers. There was a sense of nostalgia, thinking back on younger days in middle and high school where sweaty dances were the norm, a time to break out and just have fun on the sticky cafeteria or gym floor. First year Tenzin Lhakhang’s solo break dance to “Beggin” by Madcon was an unexpected and creative force strong enough to enthrall the audience after several group dances. Showing off amazing arm strength with a floor routine, his innate passion for expressive dance impressed the crowd. “It’s cool to see how hard all the dancers work, and how professional the end result always is,” Marion said. Solo and duet performances continued, with an incredibly complex hoop dance routine by sophomore Sam Resnicow and senior Julie Helmes. The flawless isolations and body contortions were surprising after a much simpler but larger hoop dance. Sophomore Elise Gloeckner, a dancer in the larger routine, commented that with a smaller stage than what they were used to, a few mistakes occurred. Still, crowd members seemed to enjoy the show. “It was a very entertaining production,” sophomore Reuben Jalbert said. “I definitely enjoyed the smaller group performances and break dance. They had more room for creative expression, whereas the larger dance groups seemed like they were doing the same thing over and over again.” The Catamount Dance Crew — headed by senior Abbey Pratt and junior Carlyn Levy — performed 10 routines on the chapel stage, faces full of passion. The sense of community was apparent. To move feet that fast in time with the constantly changing beats and flashy lights is quite the feat, but then to move simultaneously or independently of many others? That is insane. The annual event was a great opportunity to see student-run dance groups on campus, outside of the practice studio.