Dancing in Andover’s hip hop dance group, Hypnotiq and step team, SLAM, Alejandra Uria ’15 and Jada Sanchez ’15 are known as an energetic dance duo, whether they are on the stage of Tang Theatre during Grasshopper Night or on the basketball court cheering on the Varsity Basketball teams.
Even though Uria and Sanchez did not know each other prior to their freshman year, they immediately found each other as perfect dancing partners.
“Whenever I dance with Alejandra, I feel that we’re just always so in sync. It’s really hard to find a dance partner that can follow you perfectly. It’s more fun and not as stressful when you know that your [dance partner] can coordinate moves very well and very quickly with you,” said Sanchez.
Both Uria and Sanchez developed an interest in dancing when they were very young.
“I’ve been dancing ever since I was little. It started with my older sister and I; she and I would choreograph dances and perform them for the rest of my family,” said Uria, “My mom decided to [enroll me] at a hip hop studio. [That’s how] I started to train with professional hip hop dancers.”
“I did a lot of tap, jazz, modern, ballet—basically everything, but I [actually] had to stop when I got to elementary school. When I got to Andover and I heard about Hypnotiq, I felt that I needed to join it because I missed dancing a lot,” said Sanchez.
Both having been exposed to musical culture, Uria and Sanchez’s similar backgrounds led them to feel comfortable dancing with one another.
“When I was little, we only used to listen to Cuban music in the house, and it was blared throughout the house while my mom was cooking. That was probably how I was first introduced to dance,” said Uria, who is of Cuban descent.
Sanchez, who is of Spanish descent, grew up with Latin music in her house. When she’s performing a routine accompanied by songs with Latin influences in it, she often throws in a little Spanish groove in her moves.
Sanchez and Uria unique choreography stem from their heritages and cultures.
According to both Sanchez and Uria, they decided to join SLAM and Hypnotiq to find a place that would give them a chance to shine.
“Hypnotiq and SLAM is kind of our thing. It’s our way to stand out in a school like Andover, where it’s so hard to stand out because there’s so many people,” said Sanchez. “It’s just a coincidence that [Hypnotiq and SLAM] happen to become a bonding force between [me and Alejandra.]”
“We see each other a lot: at classes, during sports, during practice. We have become really good friends and good routine partners between SLAM and Hypnotiq practices. It’s our little niche in this huge school,” said Uria.
Although Uria and Sanchez are close friends, they never let themselves lose focus during dance practices.
“I see dancing as something more than a hobby. It has always been my way to let myself go. Ever since I was young, I have always [felt] that the music just ‘floats’ into my body and out into the moves,” said Sanchez.
Both Uria and Sanchez plan to continue stepping and dancing hip hop at the college level. Andover’s Hypnotiq and SLAM are good technical and creative foundations, said Uria.
“I would definitely like to continue stepping or SLAM in college, maybe even past college. I know a lot of adults that dance where I practice at home, and I would love to be a part of that community,” Uria said.
Uria and Sanchez both said that they will continue to dance at Andover and at home and may branch out to different styles of dance. Keep an eye out for the duo’s future dance collaborations and spirited routines.