The Extras: Step Dance

Here's a pumpkin for some fall lolz
Here’s a pumpkin for some fall laughs

Hello, Brunonian family! I’m Jacklyne Vargas, nice to meet you all *insert imaginary handshakes here*! I’m here to be your compass (well, that sounds heavy, doesn’t it?) in everything extracurricular here at Brown. If you’re reading this,  you are a magnetic force of your own and I’m simply helping you figure out what attracts you. In all The Extras, in all the magnetic forces here at Brown, you can easily be pulled in countless directions, but I’m here to help! If anything, we’ll go crazy together…

Happy November, lovely readers!

With my first post of November, I’ll be treating you all to an interview with one of the members of Divine Rhythm, Brown’s only step dance team!

Here to give us her insights is Cherise Pabia ’18!

Q: How did you become involved with the dance team? What drove you to remain in Divine Rhythm after the initial encounter?

A: I saw the announcement for auditions on Morning Mail and I decided to addition just because in my old high school, we had a tradition where the seniors would make a makeshift step team and then perform for the pep rally. Luckily, I got in and I decided to stay with Divine Rhythm just because the people were very friendly and it was just a great opportunity to make some friends. I’m the only freshman on the team right now, so I’ve gotten to know bunch of upperclassmen and they’re really sweet. I actually went to R.I. Comic-Con with some of them the other weekend! They’re just really nice people, and it always feels great to be part of a group, and this group has been so welcoming.

Q: What sort of individuals are drawn to DR? What type of environment do the members create?

A: There’s currently a lot of diversity in the club, ethnically and otherwise. There’s a range of grades: the youngest person is me, a freshman, and the oldest person is a grad student. Only one or two of them stepped in high school I think. My point is, you don’t have to have stepped in high school in order to join the step team. It’s also not necessary to be an artsy person , I mean we all have a sense of rhythm, but all of us are concentrating in a wide variety of things. The grad student is working in a biology lab, some of the others are working on Pre-Med, a guy who I thought was a Theatre concentrator is actually concentrating in Neuro, and I’m thinking of concentrating in Linguistics. All types of people are attracted to the club and we just enjoy stepping together.

Q: Can you describe the audition or tryout process for Divine Rhythm?

A: It was very laid-back. They rented a dance studio in T.F. Green and they taught us a step. We then performed it back to them and they let us look at the mirror and helped us out whenever we needed help. Again, it was a very laid-back audition process; you could tell they were rooting for you!

Q: Any details about the performances/competitions Divine Rhythm participates in?

A: Divine Rhythm sometimes competes depending on the year and how intense they are that year. I’m not quite sure about this year yet, but we are already planning our show in which we perform with A Capella groups. We also have our own shows and I think this year we’re going to be collaborating with a break dance team at Brown – it’s going to be very exciting!

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A poster advertising one of Divine Rhythm’s shows last year

Q: In your opinion, why should students become involved in Divine Rhythm?

A: Students should become involved in Divine Rhythm because we’re the chillest people around and it’s also not a very big time commitment – one of the other reasons why I stayed with them. We rehearsed twice a week for two hours but it’s not really two hours because, a lot of the time, people bring their homework and work on their homework while rehearsing. Part of the time we’re just relaxing, talking to each other,  checking in on each other and just generally hanging out. At the same time, our material is fierce and our performances look awesome because the people in the group right now know a lot of steps and they’ve come up with so many cool-looking material. They’re very creative and imaginative, and I’m lucky to even observing them and learning from them because I didn’t step in high school. There’s so much things you can do rhythmically through dance that I just was never aware of.

Thank you for sharing your experience, Cherise!

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Warm hugs,

Jackie

Don’t hesitate to leave any questions, comments, frustrations, tirades, rants, chocolates,  inquiries or suggestions (I’d love your input) either below or in my email,  jacklyne_vargas@brown.edu! I’m seriously excited to interact with you all… Seriously. Have a delightful day!

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