‘Ride with T-Mob’: A look inside transcenDANCE
On Saturday, April 28, transcenDANCE held their annual showcase, a presentation of a year’s hard work packed with choreography, popular music and indisputable vibes. Of the dance organizations on campus, transcenDANCE is the youngest. Formed in 2009 by two former students, Nicole Spinelli and Namibia Williams, it has one mentality: “Anybody with a passion for dance should be able to express that.” That’s a quote from Martin Bradshaw, the club’s public relations chair. He’s been a member of transcenDANCE since the fall of 2015, his freshman year at Hofstra, and views it as a thriving community and a “creative outlet” for anyone possessing a fondness for dance.
Unlike other dance organizations on campus, transcenDANCE has the distinction of not holding auditions. To be a member, you merely have to come to practices and get involved. This welcoming environment has seen the club grow exponentially in just a short time.
DeVanté London, president of transcenDANCE, recalls his freshman year when there were just 17 members. “It was intimate, but the rehearsals were hellish,” London said. Now in his senior year, London said the club has 64 active members.
“It’s like we’re discovering and developing a business model that works.” Methods of promotion, recruitment and performing have all become more streamlined, certainly helped by the growing membership.
Bradshaw attributes the growth to the group’s diversity. People of all backgrounds and identities make up the club, bringing a wealth of ideas and creative energy. Variance in majors also contributes to transcenDANCE’s diversity, with fields of study ranging from drama to chemistry being represented.
While most students may know them for their hip-hop performances, transcenDANCE also dabbles in a variety of other genres, including ballet, tap and dancehall. The club also strives to provide an outlet for all levels of experience and varying music interests, allowing members to choreograph their own dances if they wish.
Prevalence in the Hofstra community certainly doesn’t hurt the organization’s visibility. They regularly perform at various on-campus events, including the drag show and Fall Fest. Their members are heavily involved in campus life, serving as resident assistants, pride guides and orientation leaders, to name a few, and as such are well known around Hofstra.
Having had the pleasure of seeing one of their showcases, it is undisputable that there is certainly a family atmosphere about this club that is hard to find elsewhere on Hofstra’s campus. The end of their final performance of the year is always an emotional experience, Bradshaw said. It serves as both the culmination of their hard work and a senior send-off, where they bid adieu to their dancing partners and friends.
What sets this 2018 showcase apart, Bradshaw said, is preparation and transcenDANCE’s talented members. “This showcase is much bigger, with so many people with so much to contribute.” The performance has been well prepared for, including late practices into the night, as members juggle school work and other extracurricular activities.
Showcase is the time when all of this work pays off and members take to the stage of the John Cranford Adams Playhouse to share their passion with the community.
“In addition to being entertained by the dances, we hope that the audience comes on a journey with us,” Bradshaw said of the showcase. The compilation is an expression of “college life” and “growing up.”
In the midst of final exams and the nearing of the semester’s end, it is inspiring to witness peers working so hard to perform and express their love for dance and music.
With all of their obligations outside of the club, the team is still able to come together and pour their hearts into something for the Hofstra community and their family members and friends to enjoy.
“tDANCE is my greatest joy, and watching my friends grow and develop into confident dancers and people is the most rewarding feeling,” London said.
transcenDANCE will no doubt continue to grow in size, as the atmosphere of positivity and free expression encourages Hofstra students to be themselves and enjoy doing so.