Students Celebrate Community at SHU/SLAM

Last weekend Sacred Heart University’s Inception Dance Crew hosted SHU/SLAM which featured 16 different dances. It was a sold-out event with an enthusiastic crowd and dance numbers ranging everywhere from tap to hip-hop.

The night started off with a tap dance titled ‘They Don’t Want Music.’” This number was very upbeat and energetic and set the tone for the rest of the night. Not only did Inception Dance Crew host the event, but they also performed.

“SHU/SLAM is really fun because it’s a different type of show,” said senior Ava Zecchino who is a part of Inception Dance Crew. “We host the show and we’re in the audience. It’s a different atmosphere and a different type of energy.”

Inception was a part of four dances throughout the night: “On My Mama,” “Freakum Dress,” “Monster” and “The Pack.” These performances were a mix of small groups as well as full group performances.

Senior Breana Gionta, who is also a part of Inception Dance Crew said, “My favorite performance piece that I was in would definitely be ‘Freakum Dress.’ Dancing in heels allows me to show another style of dance that I haven’t done in a while and let out my inner girl boss. It is fun and makes you feel good dancing in heels.”

Throughout the night, different performances showcased different styles of dance. There was a special performance from Harshitha Kaja who showcased a dance style called Bharatanatyam which is a South Indian art form. This was her third year performing at SHU/SLAM. There was also a number called ‘Griztronics’ which featured techno-style music and Irish step dancing.

The Director of Dance, Kari Williams, led the launch of SHU/SLAM in 2016. She said she wanted to break away from a traditional dance performance and allow the performers to be in the audience to make the performance more engaging and community-driven.

“In essence, SHU/SLAM embodies the ethos of a community-minded dance event— it’s about coming together, celebrating diversity, and fostering meaningful connections.

We transform the dance floor into a space of pure joy and unity, where every member of the SHU community can feel welcomed and included,” Williams said.

Its untraditional setup of allowing the performers to be in the audience helped raise the energy levels and kept the audience engaged throughout the night. There was also an open mic section which allowed someone from the audience to go on stage and show a special talent. This had audience members laughing and allowed for a connection between performers and audience members.

Sophomore Morgan Plitnick, who attended the event said, “SHU/SLAM was an amazing show. Each performance was unique and showed dancers who enjoyed sharing the stage with others and this allowed for the audience to have just as much fun as the performers.”

For Inception Dance Crew, one of the biggest takeaways was being able to do this with their friends.

“I adore my dance friends and wouldn’t trade them for the world. They make the experience and being involved with Sacred Heart dance truly memorable. The support and love we all have for each other is unbreakable. Nothing is better than dancing with girls that cheer you on and are passionate for dance,” said Gionta.

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