Club Show 2021: Dance Clubs Overcome Difficulties to Celebrate Accomplishments and Build Community

Applause and boisterous cheering imbued the Pine Knoll Tent as black-clad dancers shimmied off the stage for a new group to glide in and take their place. The teams rotated in one-by-one, and the excitement grew as the dancers showed off their talent and a year’s worth of hard work in person for the first time. Carolina Tieppo ’24, a dancer for Strypno, a collaborative group with members from both Hypnotiq and Blue Strut, shared her thoughts about the Club Show in regards to the challenges of the in-person environment.  

“I think my performance and everybody’s performance was outstanding, especially given that Covid-19 put the dance world back. Formations seemed so much harder [post-Covid-19] because we were doing all individual stuff at our houses,” said Tieppo. 

However, the readjustment to dancing in-person was not the only challenge that many Club Show performers faced. Due to the short notice of the event, many team captains including J.V.N.E. leader Emily Huang ’21 found it difficult to practice and master an entire dance routine within two weeks. J.V.N.E. is a student kpop dance group on campus. 

“We just got an email saying, ‘This is happening on May 15, do you want to participate?’… And then I pulled together a piece and taught it. It was very last-minute… The challenge was finding a song in time and being able to learn it in time. We were on a very tight schedule,” said Huang. 

Despite the challenges many groups faced, the Club Show went off without a hitch; additionally, it provided a way for many dancers to build connections with their groups as one of the last dance events of the school year. Huang, who was also a dancer in the group Photon, expressed how she appreciated the opportunity to dance and bond with others around her. 

“I enjoyed the opportunity to have all the dance groups come together. I did Grasshopper for the past two years, and it was nice to have everyone here [again.] For my group specifically, I was happy to dance with them again for the last time,” said Huang. 

Another dance leader, Ioanna Ninos ’21, agreed with the sentiment of enjoying the gathering of different dance groups and styles at the Club Show. She commented about how it not only contributed to enhancing the dance community, but also the audience’s enjoyment of the performance. 

“A lot of different clubs performed tonight. Step, Hip-hop, Jazz, Asian Dance styles… I think being able to see that all in one place and also watching your peers and friends perform is always a great opportunity and a fun thing to do on a Saturday night,” said Ninos. 

The atmosphere of the Club Show was vibrant and welcoming enough to even those who were not familiar with many of the performers, according to Sara Romai ’23, an audience member. Romai discussed her enjoyment of the Club Show despite being unfamiliar to Andover’s dance community.

“I didn’t know too many people in the performances, but I thought they were all great. I also thought the energy of the audience was fun, because everyone was very enthusiastic… I think it [was] an opportunity for everyone to come together and celebrate the people who are performing,” said Romai.