Don’t Stop the Music
By Kate Patterson
Nov. 18 and 19, the Repertory Dance Group (RDG) hosted their semesterly performance, titled “Don’t Stop the Music.” As people filed into the auditorium at Silas High School, audience members chanted, “RDG! RDG!” out of excitement. This response was not unwarranted. The show was stunning, and the energy of the dancers exceeded even the energy of the audience.
RDG is a club at the University that offers dance opportunities to those of all different skill levels, even those with no dance experience. Dancers spent nine weeks rehearsing for the Silas show. There were 15 dances in a variety of genres, including hip-hop, contemporary, jazz, disco, lyrical and line dance. The first of many hip-hop numbers was performed to Beyonce’s “Partition”. Kayla Frye, the choreographer, shouted out their dancers in a note in the program: “Big thanks for my dancers channeling their inner Beyoncé <3.”
Runaway Baby, to Bruno Mars’ song of the same title, was one of the dances I enjoyed the most. Choreographer Carly Ching described it as a “sassy, upbeat jazz number,” and dancers wore glittery skirts in multiple colors, adding to the effect. She has loved being in RDG, saying, “The energy is unique and contagious no matter where you are in the club, dancer, choreographer, officer or even audience member.”
A line dance to “Fake ID” by Big & Rich finished out the night. Dancers wore red cowboy hats, and fog from a machine partially obscured the dancers. Regardless of different feelings towards country music, audience members loved the performance.
There was one controversial song included in the program: “Coldest Winter” by Kanye West. RDG put a statement in the program addressing it. “In the last few weeks, Kanye has displayed a number of antisemitic and racist actions, comments, and attitudes that we, as RDG, condemn,” the program read. In response, RDG used a cover of the same song, choosing not to replace it — likely due to the 7 weeks of rehearsal dancers had already put in.
With the help of great lighting, fun choreography and a strong community, everyone in RDG got to shine onstage, regardless of how much experience they had. After the dances, RDG members gathered back on stage together, and as they ran on, the president and vice president, Keegan Smith and Emily Kidd, high-fived each dancer. In the program, Smith wrote, “I am so proud to be a part of this club and to share the stage with all our dancers tonight.” RDG was a celebration of joy and of the dancers themselves. Kidd said, “I would just encourage anyone who’s interested to get involved in RDG next semester, it truly is a place for anyone, even if you’ve never danced before!”