Putting student dancers in motion

InMotion Dance Ensemble performed at this year’s homecoming.

Members of InMotion, an all girl dance ensemble, perform multiple dance techniques like hip-hop, jazz and contemporary. Sash Schaeffer |TTN
Members of InMotion, an all girl dance ensemble, perform multiple dance techniques like hip-hop, jazz and contemporary. Sash Schaeffer |TTN

Members of Temple’s InMotion Dance Ensemble don’t discriminate when it comes to styles of dance.

The dancers have spent their past few practices perfecting a routine to pop singers Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Nicki Minaj’s hit “Bang Bang,” through which the girls showcase techniques in contemporary, hip-hop and jazz dancing.

Brianna Poley, a senior education major and captain of InMotion dance, said the team is preparing for performances at a few upcoming service-oriented events, including a church organization and Red Lounge, an event by Temple University’s HEART Wellness Resource Center that promotes AIDS awareness.

Some members said this year has been the most successful for the team. During homecoming weekend, InMotion was one of the headline performances for the Battle of the Sexes event, which featured cast members of MTV’s Girl Code and Guy Code television shows.

“When we went on stage it was crazy, because we were like the famous performer there,” said Noel Sarachilli, an InMotion member and senior actuarial science and risk management major. “It gave us so much adrenalin and was probably one of the best performances that I’ve ever done.”

Poley said the team was ecstatic when the Oct. 7 Battle of the Sexes event coordinator contacted them to perform.

“This was one of our biggest events – the way that it was completely packed was something that we had never experienced before,” Poley said. “The crowd was crazy and had a lot of energy. Some of us even met the Girl Code, Guy Code cast members and they really loved us.”

For the Battle of the Sexes event, InMotion stuck to a hip-hop technique rather than contemporary or jazz. Poley said that although hip-hop routines are in demand at most events, members of InMotion must be able to perform contemporary and jazz routines when expected.

“Hip-hop is so fun and has a lot of energy, but at some of our low-key events, like at a church, we choose to do contemporary because it has more of a calmer aspect to it,” Poley said. “We have a two-day tryout process where people must be able to show contemporary, jazz and hip-hop techniques in three different dances.”

Poley said InMotion holds tryouts every fall semester for people interested in joining the team. Recently, the team has held a $3 dance workshop to help prospective members get to know the team better and learn its different dance techniques.

Sarachilli said InMotion has been conducting about four workshops per year since she has been on the team. She said she enjoyed instructing jazz at the last workshop.

“In the past, we’ve had some of the girls who’ve gone to the workshops and have ended up joining our team, and I know they really have fun with it,” Sarachilli said. “Teaching at first was a challenge because everyone was at different levels, but everyone was pretty open to trying new things, so it ended up being fun for everyone, whether they got to learn something new or pursue something different than they normally do.”

Whitney Johnson joined the team this year as a freshman and said teaching dance can be very rewarding.

“I taught a dance class at my studio for the first time this summer, which partly influenced me to continue dance after college,” Johnson said. “There was only one person in the class, since it was a private lesson, but seeing how the student was so willing to learn over the course of the summer made me want to keep going.”

Johnson first heard about InMotion at a dance convention in Philadelphia last year, Manhattan Dance Project. One of the current members, who also attended, told her to like the team’s group on Facebook and persuaded her to audition.

Johnson said InMotion has been a highlight of her freshman year and not only helps her keep up her dance technique, but also provides a nice outlet to let off some steam.

“I definitely did not want to lose my dance technique, but I also love InMotion because I’m able to come to practice and just let loose with my friends,” Johnson said. “This is a great group of people.”

Sarachilli said InMotion constantly keeps her active and gives her time for a good workout even with a full course schedule.

“It forces you to do exercise because of the scheduled practices,” Sarachilli said. “We honestly have so many dance performances that it’s impossible not to stay active.”

Though members said they are currently busy performing, Poley said InMotion hosts a variety of fundraisers throughout the year. One fundraiser she enjoyed most was a “drunk food stand,” she said, through which the team sold food outside the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity house on a Thursday night.

Sarachilli said throughout the four years she has been involved, InMotion has been her favorite organization at Temple. Members of the team have become not only her roommates, but also her life-long friends.

Poley encourages people interested in InMotion to come to the workshops if they are considering being part of the team next fall.

“You shouldn’t be afraid to put yourself into it and get in the moves,” Poley said. “We accept all dancing styles.”

Sarachilli and Johnson said they hope to pursue dance even further in the future, because InMotion has helped to keep their passion thriving, they said.

“It would be too sad to ever just let dance go,” Sarachilli said.  “I honestly couldn’t live without it.”

Sienna Vance can be reached at sienna.vance@temple.edu

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