The annual Hopkins Dance O-Show took place this past Saturday at the Shriver Hall auditorium. The event is a popular showcase of the University’s dance performance groups, usually held a couple weeks after freshman orientation. Several minutes into the show, the auditorium was already filled to the brim, with more students shuttling into the auditorium between performances.
As its name suggests, the Dance O-Show is primarily targeted towards doe-eyed freshmen looking for more ways to get involved on campus. For that reason, the dance routines presented at this year’s show were terse and energetic, allowing for a large number of dance groups to showcase their talents. In addition, there was little continuity between the performances, and for good reason. The show was designed such that attendees could sample the wide breadth of stylistic and cultural diversity that dance groups at Hopkins have to offer.
Right from the beginning of the program, audience members could see that each group provided opportunities for unique kinds of artistic expression; the first group to perform, JHU Classical Ballet, was followed by Temps D’Afrique, a troupe dedicated to performing traditional and modern African dances, and Shakti, a competitive classical Indian dance team. These three groups were then followed by the Ladybirds Dance Team, Baila!, Blue Jay Bhangra, Jaywalk, Korean Pop Motion and Listen Up Tap.
Listen Up Tap, the only tap group on campus, delivered an especially striking and creative take on “Where Is My Mind” by the Pixies.
Whether new freshmen wanted to learn how to salsa dance, perfect an arabesque or sharpen their tap dancing skills, they could see that these opportunities were open to them.
The second half featured Zinda, Vivaz, Lan Yun Blue Orchids, Modern Dance, SLAM Hip Hop Dance, JOSH Dance Team, Young Han Lion Dance, Breakers Crew and Eclectics.
Young Han Lion Dance’s performance was notable for its creative use of two dragon props in an elaborate Chinese dragon dance routine. At one point in the performance, one of the dragons jumped down from the stage in front of the crowd, interacting with audience members.
It was only fitting that the Eclectics, known for their versatile dance skills, rounded out the show with a complicated dance routine featuring modern and hip-hop dancing.
After the event, there was a post-show signup at the Levering Glass Pavilion for attendees who were interested in joining one of the dance groups. Performers could even be heard trying to recruit attendees just outside Shriver Hall following the show.
Though the event was primarily targeted towards freshmen, this didn’t mean that it wasn’t appealing to non-freshmen. In fact, I think I enjoyed the show more as an upperclassman than I did when I first arrived on campus. This may be due to the fact that I recognized several past TAs, former classmates and friends among the performers. It was moving to see them engaged with the arts on campus outside of a study setting.
It’s no lie that the academic culture at Hopkins can sometimes seem overwhelming. However, the arts groups and classes on campus provide students with ways to engage with one another in a more relaxed and enjoyable environment.
For Ballet Company dancer Abbie Bowman, a junior studying molecular and cellular biology, being involved with the performing arts on campus has been fulfilling in ways that extend beyond the stage.
“Not only is it really rewarding to be able to perform and have people watching you, but it’s also such a great sense of community. Everyone’s willing to help you and