OU club Vitality Dance takes center stage at annual showcase

The curtains opened to expose 13 silhouettes on a dark stage. The blast of electronic feedback and a cyborg voice roaring “Sail” brought light on stage.

The silhouettes shed the shadows and revealed shimmering red and black bustiers. The audience stared at the blitz of glitz: high kicks, flips, spins and tricks. Each movement’s energy was cut as their toes reached the floor. An unseen cue would send them into their next stunt.

OU’s dance club, Vitality Dance, held their second annual showcase June 1. Under music from Billboard’s Top 100 and classic ballads, the dancers featured styles such as jazz, tap, lyrical, modern and hip-hop.

The show was divided into two acts with 23 dances. One dance had the theme of escaped patients from a psychiatric hospital.  The dancers were dressed in straightjackets while dancing to “Light ‘Em Up” by Fall Out Boy.

The RPG’s, a local two-man band, entertained the audience with two acoustic songs in both acts. Another dance team, Dance Beats, preformed a lyrical dance in act one.

Vitality Dance ended the show with a Broadway-style number to “Cell Block Tango” from the musical “Chicago.”


Captivating club

The hosts of the showcase, WXOU’s Josh Nagy and Scott Hunter, have seen Vitality Dance practice, and they hosted their first showcase. They agree Vitality Dance has passionate dancers.

“I’ve seen hard work and dedication even in this workout,” said Hunter, promotions director for WXOU.

Lauren MacLeod, a photographer and OU alum, has taken photos of their two showcases and said she can see the emotion when they dance.

“I haven’t seen anything like it before,” MacLeod said about their body movements.


Practice perfection

Since the past year, they have been practicing six hours a week for the showcase.

“Practices usually begin with a group stretch and then go right into running dances,” Allison, appearance and fundraising co-chair of Vitality Dance, said.

The dancers are responsible for creating their own choreography. The president and captain of Vitality Dance, Katie Lukovich, said she first sees the capability of the dancers then they move into choreography.

Allison said they help each other discover moves and give suggestions to showcase the emotion of the song. “Each dance tells a story,” she said.


On pointe

Vitality Dance was a recent winner at the 35th annual CSA Student Activities and Leadership Awards in April.  The dancers were recognized as the Outstanding Club Sport of the Year

Dan Bettmann, the coordinator of intramural and club sports, chose Vitality Dance to be the winner this year.

“They did what a student organization should do, they had student-leaders step and lead their group while also being involved in the overall club sport organization,” Bettman said.

In March, they competed in the regionals of the VIP DANCE competition.

Vitality Dance won High Gold to “Sail” by AWOLNATION, High Gold to “Let Go” by Frou Frou and Gold to “Drops of Jupiter” by Train.

They won other High Gold’s in trios, solos and small groups, and Outstanding Lyrical and Hip-Hop awards

“Winning the High Gold’s was awesome,” Allison said. “Most of the people we competed against were in high school and dancing 10 plus hours a week, so we felt great.”

The club formed in 2011 after a group of dancers separated from Oakland University Dance Team.

Lukovich said though they are a small club, Vitality Dance is becoming  well-known at Oakland.


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