January 31, 2023
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On the Floor and IC Unbound collaborate for fall dance showcase

Student dance groups  IC Unbound and On the Floor have decided to come together this semester and present their dance styles in an innovative fashion.

IC Unbound is open to all dance styles, while On the Floor is more focused on contemporary, jazz, lyrical and ballet. The result of this collaboration is the showcase “In the Spotlight,” which will take place at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 9 in Emerson Suites.

Senior Sara Noble, co-artistic director of On The Floor, said this is the first time that both dance groups have joined forces to create this performance.

“I’m very excited about this showcase,” Noble said. “It’s going to be different from any other showcase On The Floor has done in the past or any dance showcase that has taken place on campus.”

Noble said the name is broad and nonspecific, because the showcase is composed of more than 20 dances dealing with diverse themes and music choices, including show tunes, electronic and pop.

“We’ve been working hard on this showcase since the first week of the semester,” Noble said. “I’m excited to know the reaction of the community to this fusion.”

Sophomore Ryan Shuler said IC Unbound lets students have the freedom to choose what styles of dance they want to participate in and also have more flexible rehearsal schedules. He said On the Floor works more like a professional dance company.

As the co-artistic director, Noble’s job is to make sure that the schedule established at the beginning of the semester runs smoothly.

“I don’t define what the showcase is about; I fit the choreographer’s creativity into a cohesive show,” Noble said.

Sophomore Samantha Jo Mattle is the treasurer and a choreographer for On The Floor. Mattle said many dancers overlap between On The Floor and IC Unbound, so the artistic directors of both groups thought it was a good idea to perform together and fuse their artistic preferences in an innovative, entertaining show.

“It’s all dancing,” Mattle said. “It’s all expression of emotions, so the showcase takes you in a rollercoaster. It’ll be fun.”

Shuler, a dancer for both IC Unbound and On The Floor, said both groups are inclusive of students’ dancing preferences and are open to new takes on dancing.

“The dance companies have been working together in making all the choreographies work together, one after the other, so that the show is entertaining,” Shuler said. “They are not necessarily linked in music or dance style, but they seem to flow nicely one after the other somehow.”

Junior Alison Stark, a dancer for On the Floor, said she found a family in the company that made her feel like she belonged on campus.

“It’s a very tight-knit community,” Stark said. “We all know each other, and we have potlucks and events outside of dancing that have helped us bond and become really good friends outside of rehearsals.”

Both Stark and Mattle enjoy dancing for On the Floor, but they also like the fact that the group gives choreographers a lot of creative freedom, and the artistic direction of each showcase is not constraining to each person’s interests and dance preferences.

“We don’t have one recurrent theme in our choreographies for each showcase,” Mattle said. “We give the students creative license. We just want to offer students the space to be creative and express themselves in ways that maybe they wouldn’t without dancing.”

Shuler debuts as a choreographer this semester for IC Unbound, having choreographed a ninja-themed jazz number. He experimented with his music choice for the showcase and decided to use dubstep song “Windscreen Snipa (PropaTingz Lock n Load Remix)” by Rob Sparx and John Maveric.

“I chose dubstep because the beat and the drive of the song really encompass the intense and action-based feeling I wanted the dancers and the audience to have,” Shuler said.

Though the process of choreographing is a fun and rewarding experience, he said, it is more challenging than just being another dancer participating in the showcase.

“The most difficult part of being a dancer in college is that, at the end of the day, you have homework to do,” Shuler said. “But I won’t give up dancing, because I’ve done it for so long. It’s a part of who I am.”