Categorized | Youth Organization

Laurier Dance Team wins FIRST PLACE & BEST Dance Awards, in National Competition

Posted on 24 March 2010 by .

On Saturday March 13th 2010, the university of Wilfrid Laurier, won the Championship trophy, a trophy for Best Dance, an award for Best Classical and Best Artistic Directorial at the South Asian Alliance Culture Show. The SAA Culture Show (SAACS) is comprised not only of a dance component but also an artistic directorial component and spirit. The dance component requires teams to use all of the following genres of dance; Bollywood, bhangra, fusion and classical. The artistic directorial component requires teams to integrate props, sets, costumes, music and relate it to a main theme. Lastly, the spirit component involves students and other members of the community that are not dancers to put together a minute long piece that best describes a schools “spirit”. The spirit component also requires each team to consistently cheer throughout the show.

The East Meets West executive team, comprised of coordinators: Amit Tandon, Vishal Handa, and Nikita Joshi, responsible for heading the preparations for SAACS. Along with Choreographers; Bollywood – Karan Oberoi, Classical – Atri Nundy, Bhangra – Vishal Handa, and Hip Hop – Elicia Ramdhin, this team started planning for the competition early last April.

After reflecting on the successes and failures of the past five years of Laurier’s involvement in SAACS, we realized that our team’s biggest holdback was the lack of support from campus authorities. As a result, one of the main goals this year was to work towards earning the support around campus that was needed to be successful at the show. Likewise, finances have been a consistent issue with East Meets West each year, this year special efforts were put in to raise money. The executives prepared numerous presentations to pitch to student groups across campus that would be able to provide any help possible. Consequently, East Meets West received great responses from WLUSU – Campus Clubs, Adam Lawrence from the Diversity Committee, Peter Donahue from Laurier International and several other groups around campus. Without the help of these individuals and groups, the Laurier SAA Dance Team would not have been able to succeed at the Culture show this year.

Additionally, it shouldn’t be a surprise that our team was consecutively faced with many other challenges throughout the year; from not being able to build or store our 100 pounds of sets and props to complaints about the volume of our music.  It could be said that the hard work put into moving the 100 pounds of props and sets on and off campus daily, was one of the many things that motivated our team to continue to work harder and harder. It was almost as though after overcoming each challenge we wanted to see what more we could handle.

The success of our dancers came from the six months and hundreds of hours put in by the dancers, choreographers, stage hands and the executive to make our dance strong. The team was mostly comprised of first year students, many of who had never attended the culture show or performed on stage before. In order to help them perform better, we spent a good chunk of our time viewing other dance groups across the world and learning from their techniques and expressions in their own dances. Competing with various other student groups for practice space around campus, our team literally took any free space available and practiced as best as possible. From outside the Senate and Board, in front of Tim Horton’s, inside the basements of Residences; lack of space never stopped our team from practice.

Our achievement at the Culture show this year is proof enough that hard work does not go unnoticed. After four years of making mistakes and learning, Wilfrid Laurier’s SAA Dance Team was finally able to deliver an award winning performance and bring home the gold.  Again, the team would like to thank Wilfrid Laurier University, WLUSU – Campus Clubs, Dean of Students, Laurier International, Office of Student Diversity, and all of the sponsors, executives, and supporters for this year.

Author:Amit Tandon

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