SHU SLAM was held by the Sacred Heart University Dance Program on March 27. Every seat in the Edgerton theater was filled with excited audience members.
The show featured dancers and musicians from various groups, including the SHU Dance Company and Dance Ensemble.
“The performers are the audience in the sense that they get to watch the other acts from their seats and support one another,” said Kari Williams, director of the dance program. “I hope this will generate an even greater sense of community.”
Member of the Dance Program, senior Alicia Briley said, “By participating in SHU SLAM, it has given me the opportunity to connect with the campus community.”
SHU SLAM opened with the Inception Dance Crew’s performance of “You Don’t Know Me.” Dancers in red and black uniforms delivered synchronized, quick moves that energized the audience.
Following Inception’s lead, the Dance Ensemble executed high-energy movements in their performance, “Conceited,” choreographed by Nicolette Mascioli. Dancers transitioned on and off-stage, wearing black uniforms with high-heeled boots.
Collaborating for dynamic dances with snappy movements and suave poses, the Dance Ensemble and Dance Company performed “Da Migas” and “Yikes.”
Keeping up the liveliness of the other groups was the Indian Rockers, a four-person group of dancers in flannels and bright red shirts. The performers used bent legs and unique hand gestures to tell a story to Indian music.
The guest performer of the night was rapper AJ Mellow, who performed his songs “Closer” and “Stay Afloat.” The other vocal performer of the night was musician Ben Carson, who played guitar and sang “Amnesia” by the band 5 Seconds of Summer.
Carson’s performance was Senior Joseph Dapice’s favorite. “It was really great, and he sang a wonderful song,” Dapice said.
In the second half of the show, Hip Hop Production performed “Lust.” Wearing black jeans and denim jackets, the dancers delivered a street-style performance.
Prior to the show, Williams said, “I am hoping that the freestyle portion of the evening will inspire some unexpected, incredible performances. I am very excited for the acts to present their work that come to us from outside the dance program!”
The freestyle dance portion allowed students from the Dance Program and from the audience to take turns in a dance circle, performing breakdancing, tumbling and other moves.
Dapice, who joined this portion, said, “It was a pleasure and honor to perform to a crowd of so many people. It gets you excited to see everyone’s faces after COVID and makes you happier seeing everyone cheering you on.”
The last performance of the night was “Progress, Never Digress,” by Inception Dance Crew, featuring slick movements and smooth transitions.
Audience members showed their excitement during and after the show. Sophomore Alie LeFrancis said, “It was fantastic.”
The audience cheered for the dancers throughout each performance, not just at the end. They also took photos and videos of the performers.
“It was absolutely incredible, show-stopping and glamorous,” said sophomore Jordan Wentworth. “I felt like I was up there with them.”
Briley said, “When I was a freshman, I fell ill my first semester from toxic black mold and had mold poisoning. Throughout my first semester, it was a struggle to dance because of the symptoms I was experiencing.”
Despite her struggles, Briley believes that an important sentiment to take away from SHU SLAM is the community coming together to share their passions.
“You never know what someone is going through, and you can make a positive difference in someone else’s life by just a performance,” Briley said.