Dancing the Night Away at Dance Palooza 2021

Skylar Musick, Staff Writer

The University held its very first Dance Palooza on Friday, April 16. All dancers involved in Music Activities had been choreographing and practicing their routines since February. The hard work and dedication paid off when they finally had the chance to perform on the Mendel Field Stage from 7:30-9:00 p.m. on Friday.

During this semester, these talented dancers have been learning, choreographing and practicing their Palooza dances, with some groups rehearsing for multiple hours, more than once a week. To remain diligent in following COVID-19 precautions, dancers rehearsed in the St. Mary’s Music Activities Tent, the St. Mary’s Dance Studio and St. Mary’s Chapel. 

“Dancing in the chapel was different than what I am used to, but the space is long and allowed us to spread out,” said freshman Allison Edmonds, who is a member of ‘Nova Noise and Dance Ensemble. “I also think the lack of mirrors was beneficial for us. Come performance time, we were ready.”

In the blink of an eye, the day of Dance Palooza arrived. All dance groups rehearsed their routines on stage at sound check on Friday afternoon. Marley was placed on the floor of the stage so that dancers, such as those in Dance Company and Ensemble, were able to coupé turn, développé and jeté safely and freely.

It had been drizzling all day, but this didn’t stop the performers from shining bright on stage. The show began with no other than DJ 007, who has played students’ favorite music at countless campus events, including basketball games. Then, it was time for each group to perform. The Villanova community danced along with Wazobia (the African Dance Company), ‘Nova Noise (the Tap Ensemble), Dance Company and Ensemble, Ablaze (the Hip-Hop Dance Team), Nova Nassa (the competitive co-ed Bollywood Fusion Dance Team), Villanova Twirlers (the Baton Twirling Team) and Superlative (the all-style, multicultural Dance Crew). Even a professional hip-hop group called Illstyle entertained the campus community. Once Superlative walked off stage, the crowd sadly packed up their portable chairs, campus cozies and blankets. They were extremely impressed by the excellent performances and had just as much fun as the dancers. 

“I really enjoyed Dance Palooza,” sophomore Olivia Sabalaskey said. “It was such a fun event to attend with my friends and a perfect way to destress, given our upcoming final exams. All of the dance groups are so talented.”

Once the show ended, there were still exciting events taking place on campus. Students got to enjoy free and delicious food, like mac n’ cheese, burgers and crepes at the food trucks. Also, thnks to Community First and the Campus Activities Team (CAT), and in honor of NOVAdance Weekend, all students had the chance to dance the night away at the second Silent Disco of the semester. 

“Dance Palooza was so fun and really gave me something to look forward to in a semester that has not had a lot of in-person events,” said freshman Catherine Messier, who is a member of Dance Ensemble and ‘Nova Noise. “I loved the opportunity to perform with all my friends after not being able to for so long.” 

Clearly, Dance Palooza was a night that the performers will always remember.