By: Christine LaFrancesca, Staff Writer
When juniors Jamie Fitzgerald and Julia Ehler met at freshman orientation, they knew that they wanted to be part of the dance community at Towson, but their goal quickly became problematic. After receiving news that they hadn’t made it onto a dance team on campus, they decided to create a community of their own, the Fusion Dance Team.
“We started talking about it our first semester here. Over our first winter break we got everything together,” Ehler said. “Right in the beginning of our first spring semester we had our interest meeting and our table at the involvement fair.”
On Sunday, Nov. 23 friends and family gathered in the West Village Commons Ballroom to watch the team perform. Each piece was carefully choreographed and broken into duos, trios and larger pieces with 4-15 people. The dances ranged from ballet to hip-hop and each was specifically tailored to the dancer’s unique liking and skill level.
“We break practice up into year, freshman, sophomore, junior, senior so since you’re dancing with your year you create bonds with those girls. That’s always my favorite,” Fitzgerald said.
The team also performed a company piece that included the entire group which Fitzgerald said was a great way for the dancers to get to know one another.
“I personally like our company dance the best. It’s always my favorite. It’s the one dance that can unite our whole team. With the exception of a few girls that can’t make company practice, we always want to have a dance that requires the entire team. It’s inspirational to see everyone together,” Ehler said.
While some dancers were seasoned performers, others joined because of a hobby-level interest in dance. Fusion Dance Team is a non-exclusive team, meaning everyone who is interested in joining is able to participate.
“It’s been fun,” junior Tryveka Gipson said. “I’ve been able to meet a lot of different people and learn about their dance experience before Fusion. I talk to a lot of freshman. I like learning about other people’s dance experiences.”
Gipson was also the choreographer of “Illusive Prodigy,” a hip-hop trio, and said that she took pride in the hard work, sweat and dedication imbued into each move of his dance.
“Since I choreographed my own hip hop piece, I was able to decide how intense I wanted it to be. Practices depend on how many pieces you’re in. It’s once a week for everyone. I practiced a little bit every day on my own. For the piece I created, me and my trio, we practiced twice a week,” Gipson said.
Junior Imari Miller, who also performed in Gipson’s piece, aided her in putting the dance together from its early stages. While focusing on their exclusive piece, Miller still appreciated and admired the fortitude and fearlessness of other Fusion members.
“My favorite routine to dance in was the trio I was involved with. I also liked the company dance, even the sections of the dance I was not in,” Miller said.
Although it began with only 15 members, Fusion is the largest dance team on campus with a total of 77 dancers.
“I’m glad it was my first Towson event. It was cool watching them incorporate that many people in a dance,” junior and spectator Josh Finch said.
Many joined Fusion to meet friends who share a mutual enjoyment of dance, while others joined to hone in and deepen a specific dance skill. Whichever the case, the Fusion Dance team has helped to created bonds between many Towson students.
“I am a transfer student so this is also my first semester at Towson. I’m glad I got involved especially with Fusion. I’ve met great people, made really cool friends and had fun dancing with those new friends,” Miller said.