Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Jedi dancers step into spotlight

Dance is a way of life. There are over 100 styles of dance around the world, giving someone a chance to try something new and learn a new technique. With the combination of hip-hop and R&B, a new type of dance called “jedi” has made its way to Plattsburgh State.

The Jedi Dance Club was created way before the current group of team members came to PSUC.

Current club president, senior Garesha Ferguson, said she became interested in the club when she heard the former vice president speaking at the Involvement Fair her freshman year.

Ferguson, who has been dancing all her life, said she tried out for the team after seeing a flyer in her freshman dorm.

“Before I even came to Plattsburgh, I was looking for clubs like this because I knew I wanted to dance when I was at school,” she said.

Jedi is made up of two teams: dancing and stepping.

Stepping is a form of dance where the dancer’s entire body is used as an instrument to produce rhythms and sounds through a mixture of footsteps, spoken word and handclaps.

Vice president, senior Shauna Ingram, has been a stepper since elementary school and tried out for Jedi during her sophomore year.

“It wasn’t just about the stepping that made me fall in love with the club,” Ingram said, “it’s about the people on the team and our personalities coming together.”

Senior Tiffany Nadler first heard of Jedi when she walked by their table during the Involvement Fair during her freshman year.

“The first thought that came into my mind was Jedi from Star Wars,” Nadler said. “I didn’t really know what it was until they explained it to me.”

Ingram said the team brings people together. By practicing three times a week, the team has become a family.

As a show approaches their practicing schedule increases, and they hold practice once a day.

Their biggest show is the Jedi Dance Benefit, which happens every fall semester.

“The benefit shows that we are back,” Ferguson said. “People haven’t seen us yet, and they are waiting to see. The benefit is our way of showing ourselves to the community.”

This year will be the benefit’s fifth. The Jedi club didn’t have a budget from PSUC in the beginning, so the benefit was a way for the club to raise money.

Ferguson said the event allows clubs and organizations to come together in one space and do what they like to do: dance.

“Someone doesn’t have to be in a club to come. This is a place where people who like to dance come, and this is the place to do it,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson said the benefit gets all different types of people from Asian to White to Black to Spanish, and they all come together to watch each other dance.

“Sometimes people have to stand on chairs and sit on the floor to see everyone perform,”Ferguson said. “It gets pretty packed.”

The biggest thing the club focuses on for the benefit is promotion.

“If we don’t promote it, no one is going to come,” Ingram said.

Ingram said other than social media, they make flyers, do tabling, make computer screen ads and send out notifications on the campus email to promote the benefit.

But before the promoting can begin, the club has to get a date for the benefit.

“We usually have a date before the semester even starts, but this semester was different,” Ferguson said.

To get the benefit approved, the team had to go in front of the Senate and fight for the show.

Nadler, who didn’t join until this year, said it was tense as the team waited for their benefit to be approved by the senate.

“After we found out that we were approved, everyone just let out a big sigh of relief,” Nadler said. “We were so relieved.”

Ferguson said there were so many tears after hearing the benefit got approved.

“We didn’t even know if we were going to have a show, so we were all pretty worried,” she said.

Ferguson said the team has been working hard on their performances and are making sure every detail is perfect for show day.

Ingram said she is looking forward to see everyone perform and can’t wait to see the turnout of the show.

“Everyone says Jedi is dying out,” Ingram said. “I just want to see the end of the show. That is a big thing for me.”

The show is tonight, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. in the Giltz auditorium located in Hawkins Hall. Admission is $3.

Email Samantha Stahl atsamantha.stahl@cardinalpointsonline.com

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