A myriad of student dance groups to check out this year


Illustration by Isabel Funk

With close to 20 dance organizations on campus, Northwestern hosts a multitude of groups with various styles ― from contemporary to burlesque.

Selena Kuznikov, Reporter

Those looking to get their groove on need not worry. From burlesque to hip-hop to jazz ― Northwestern has every style of dance group you can imagine. Here’s a look at some of the dance groups to look forward to seeing this upcoming year.

Ahana Dance Project

Ahana Dance Project is a non-competitive, South Asian fusion dance group that seeks to help dancers improve their performance skills. Its name is Sanskrit for “the first rays of sun at dawn,” and the organization performs shows in the spring, during Diwali and at the South Asian Students Alliance Show. 

Ballet Folklórico Mexicano de Northwestern: Ritmo de Mis Ancestros

Ballet Folklórico showcases traditional folklórico dances to preserve Mexican culture and bring awareness to Mexican ancestry at NU. This year, the group performed at its spring showcase event, the LatinNU festival and other events at NU and in the Chicago area.


Boomshaka brings the boom with its loud drums and lively dancers. Known for high-energy performances, it is a drum, dance and rhythm ensemble that is completely run, written, directed and produced by students. 


Burlesque aims to empower and showcase the beauty, strength and individuality of students of color through burlesque dance. The organization promotes body and sex positivity in its annual show.

Dale Duro Latin Dance Company

This group is an inclusive dance company that teaches students different styles of Latin dance including bachata, salsa and merengue, and is open to students of all skill levels. Dale Duro performs in its annual spring showcase as well as other events at NU.


Deeva is an all-female competitive dance team that fuses Indian classical, Bollywood, folk, ballet, lyrical and hip-hop styles. It promotes cultural exchange through dance and performs at different campus events like the SASA show. 

Fusion Dance Company 

Fusion Dance Company focuses on building passion and promoting growth for its members. Its choreography incorporates many styles of dance like hip-hop, jazz and contemporary. Fusion performs at Refusionshaka, its spring show and other events at the University and in the surrounding area.

Graffiti Dancers

Founded in 1974, Graffiti Dancers is one of the oldest dance companies on campus. It mainly practices contemporary styles of dance but also incorporates jazz, ballet and modern dance. This group is completely student-run and smaller than other dance groups, usually being composed of 15-18 extensively trained dancers. This past winter it performed in Graffoniks, a show with TONIK Tap.

New Movement Project

New Movement Project is the University’s student dance board. It produces the Fall Dance Concert, hosts guest artists for residencies and workshops and sponsors individual projects during the year.

NU Bhangra Dance Team

This coed bhangra group aims to promote awareness of Punjabi culture through dance and performs at events on campus, in the Chicago area and at competitions across the nation. 

NU K-Dance

NU’s student-run K-pop dance group lets students join at either a casual or auditioned level. It has previously performed at its own spring show, Celebrasia and Refusionshaka.

NU Raas

NU Raas seeks to blend a passion for dance with an awareness of South Asian culture through traditional Gujarati folk dance forms Raas and Garba. The group competes at events across the country and cultivates inclusivity by staying true to its traditions while mixing in modern dance aspects. 

Refresh Dance Crew

Refresh Dance Crew is a hip-hop dance company that aims to be accessible to students with various levels of dance training. Refresh performs at Refusionshaka, its spring showcase and various events on campus. It hosts open classes for students of any skill level and is an audition-by-piece crew.

Steam Heat Dance Company

Steam Heat is a musical theatre dance company that seeks to preserve original musical theatre choreography while also bringing new forms of dance into its moves. It practices and performs different styles of dance like jazz, jazz funk, tap and contemporary. Its mainstage show happens every spring, and the group also performs at other events on and off campus.


TONIK Tap is NU’s only tap dance group, and it choreographs its own dances throughout the academic year. It performs at various events on campus and in the Chicago area and teaches free tap classes during the year. 

Typhoon Dance Troupe

This student-organized dance group highlights popular, classical, ethnic and contemporary dances of East and Southeast Asia and is open to dancers of all skill levels. It offers weekly workshops and also has a Master Class program where it invites famous dancers to teach classes. The troupe performs at different NU productions, including Celebrasia, and other off-campus events.

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @selenakuznikov 

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