NU dance team to combine dance with social media at first-ever fall show


Daily file photo by Lauren Duquette

Ballroom Latin and Swing Team members dance in the group’s spring 2016 show. This year, BLAST is adding a fall show that will combine social media and dance.

Alan Perez, Reporter

The Northwestern Ballroom Latin and Swing Team will combine social media and dance for its first-ever fall show next weekend.

The event, “Swipe Right on BLAST,” a reference to the mobile dating app Tinder, will also include references to Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms, show director Sydney Marcus said.

The McCormick junior said the team decided on the title during a meeting with the show’s management that was continually interrupted by social media alerts.

“We realized that social media is something that is really prevalent in our lives all the time,” she said. “Why not have the basis of the show and all the transitions between pieces … be about social media?”

The transitions in the show will showcase humor-infused pictures and bloopers through the lens of social media platforms, Marcus said.

BLAST president John Hruska said social media is less of a theme than it is a “guiding principle.” Though past shows included dances that told a story or were related to a theme, this show is aimed at engaging the audience, the Weinberg junior said.

Hruska added he hopes using social media will achieve that goal.

“It’s not just what the audience is seeing and enjoying this quarter,” he said. “The show is more about being able to get the audience involved and presenting the show in a slightly different way.”

The group will also look to recruit potential members with the fall show, Marcus said. In the past, she added, students auditioned for the annual spring show without seeing current members perform. This year, Marcus said potential members have the opportunity to see performances and learn about BLAST before auditioning in January.

The show also gives current members another chance to dance, she added.

The organization allocated significant funds for the event, Hruska said. He added that he is excited to see the performance.

“Right now, it’s more of a test run, but the amount of energy that our cast and our choreographers have been bringing never ceases to inspire me,” Hruska said.

Weinberg senior Maria Feiler, one of the show’s performers, said her pieces will showcase different styles of Latin dance, including bachata, rumba and cha-cha.

“It’s focusing on the more fluid dynamic that BLAST can give to the ballroom dance community (and) not getting forced into a mold,” she said.

The theme of social media will prevail through her romantic and “flirtatious” dances, she said. Feiler said she will switch off roles as follower and leader with her partner while dancing to “Hands to Myself” by Selena Gomez.

BLAST will perform Saturday and Sunday in Technological Institute.

Hruska said he supported the directors in their vision of creating a fall show to give members more opportunities to dance and showcase the team more frequently.

“I know that the community really enjoys what we’re able to offer and I myself enjoy watching our performances,” Hruska said. “To be able to do that more than once a year, to be able to have members of our cast learn more than one type of dance and learn it all year round is certainly something that I was excited to consider.”

This story was updated on Nov. 20 at 1:05 a.m. to reflect a change in BLAST’s budget.

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