Mission accomplished: ‘Refresh Undercover’ spring show debuts this weekend


Elisa Huang/The Daily Northwestern

Refresh Dance Crew members perform to “Monster” by Meek Mill.

Ella Jeffries, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Refresh Dance Crew held its seventh annual spring show, “Refresh Undercover,” in the Technological Institute’s Ryan Family Auditorium this weekend. 

The undercover mission-themed performance had been in the making since fall, with featured choreography from Fall Quarter’s Refusionshaka event as well as some dances from Winter Quarter content videos. 

Weinberg freshman Sabrina Lam joined Refresh last quarter. While she was initially intimidated by her fellow dancers, she said she loves the group’s supportive community. 

“Everyone is so talented. So at first I felt like I couldn’t compare, but everyone’s so sweet,” Lam said. “If you make a mistake during practice or even the show, they are still there for you and cheering you on.” 

Lam said the show was an opportunity to push herself out of her comfort zone by performing in the piece “Hard White” by Nicki Minaj, which was a femme, sensual style dance in the section called “Seduce the Enemy.” Lam said she never would have imagined dancing to this style if the choreographers hadn’t encouraged her to try it. 

The show consisted of five sections, each meant to immerse attendees in a different phase of an undercover mission. The last part, titled “Escape to Victory,” perfectly described the weekend for Refresh, which performed for three packed audiences. 

Three student dance groups also made guest appearances directly after intermission, with K-Dance on Friday, Ahana Dance Project at Saturday’s first show and Purple Passion for the weekend’s last show. 

Weinberg freshman Thomas Pottinger attended the 10 p.m. Saturday show. It was his first time going to a Refresh performance, and after what he described as a really enjoyable experience, he said he is looking forward to attending more in the future.

“My friend was performing, so I obviously went to support her, but all of the dance and choreography was really well done,” Pottinger said. 

For the group, the last show on Saturday is when the energy is at its best, as Refresh alumni traditionally come out to support the group.

McCormick senior Raymonde Council said one of the most important parts of performing is feeding off positive energy from both her fellow dancers and the crowd, and this year’s live audiences did not disappoint. 

“Even when we’re performing for a smaller audience, we make sure to cheer for each other in the wings because it makes the biggest difference in morale,” Council said. “So when the audience is loving it and having fun, it’s very much this positive feedback loop that you can see in the dancers’ energy.”

Council said her highlight of every show is freestyling, which this year she did to the song “Creature” by Pop Smoke and Swae Lee.

For Council, performing in her final show was a bittersweet moment. 

“It was really beautiful to see the show come together, yet closing this chapter feels very sad,” Council said. At the same time, being around a community that has done a lot to uplift me, I’ve seen a lot of growth in myself. So I’m very grateful to have this last performance.”

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @ellajeffriess

Related Stories: 

ReFusionShaka rocks the stage, brings together NU dance community

‘REFRESH: THE UNIVERSE’ spring show blasts off after 3-year hiatus

A myriad of student dance groups to check out this year