United by the love of dance, 10 of Cornell’s dance troupes performed a four-minute flash mob Wednesday, hoping to “establish a better community” among Cornell dancers.
Dozens of dancers took to Ho Plaza, performing everything from tap-dancing to hip hop to Punjabi dance, as a large audience filmed and watched the flash mob. Even after the performance ended, students remained on Ho Plaza, socializing and taking pictures.
Groups that participated included On Tap Dance Troupe, Cornell Bhangra, BreakFree, Base Productions, Impact Dance Troupe, Cornell DanceSport Team, Big Red Raas, Rise Dance Group, Badmaash and Anjali.
Jin Jin Ma ’17, president of hip hop dance group BreakFree, said he felt the need for greater exchange between different dance groups during his three years as a part of Cornell’s dance community.
“From our perspective, the dance community is a little split right now, and it is very difficult to bridge connections sometimes,” he said. “Because everyone is always busy, people in the dance community don’t necessarily set aside time to get to know people on other teams. They just get to know their own team.”
Ma said that through the flash mob, he hoped to promote BreakFree’s motto, “Dance to Inspire,” throughout the entire dance community at Cornell.
“The whole point of BreakFree is to encourage others to dance and to express themselves through dance,” Ma said. “We feel like dance is a way to ‘break free’ from inhibitions and come together as a community. So that being our team motive and team dynamic, we really wanted to spread that into the dance community.”
Prior to Wednesday’s flash mob, collaboration among dance teams was largely individual, said TJ Famighetti ’17, president of Base Productions, a hip hop dance group.
“A lot of dance teams occasionally do collaborations or have other dance groups come perform at their guest shows,” Famighetti said. “So people definitely do collaborate, but this is the first time that anything like this has really happened where [different groups] choreograph together.”
In addition to building a stronger community among Cornell’s dancers, the flash mob aimed to communicate and promote members’ passion for dance, according to Famighetti.
“[We wanted to] get people to see other people dancing, and see how awesome all these different dancers are because they are all really fantastic people,” Famighetti said. “So hopefully, it will get people interested to see our shows and to try out in the future.”
Planning for the flash mob began during the summer, according to Niara Hardister ’18, BreakFree’s co-director of marketing, who said that she emailed every team on campus over the summer to ask if they wanted to participate. Practices for the dance took place every weekend the month leading up to the flash mob, Hardister added.