3Spot Dance Troupe warming up for this week’s show, next semester

By Nicola Crean

As the semester’s end approaches, 3Spot Dance Troupe will be losing many of its members due to its graduating seniors.

“We will obviously miss all of them, and their strengths add a lot to the team, but it just means we will get to add a lot of new talent to the troupe next semester,” said Ashley Rockafellow, junior in LAS.

Since it is a co-ed dance group, the troupe hopes to add male talent in the future because they haven’t had any male participants this past year.

“While 3Spot is not co-ed right now, it has been in the past, and that is a major difference from high school to now,” said Rachel Specht, president of 3Spot and senior in LAS. “The wonderful diversity of people definitely adds to the prerequisites of 3Spot.”

3Spot Dance Troupe started at the University in 1997 as a swing dance group, but has expanded to include more members and a variety of dance genres.

“There is such a variety of (dance). We have performed a cappella, tap, musical hits, Chris Brown, salsa, punk rock, Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews, Fiona Apple, Brandi Carlile, classic rock hits and more,” Specht said.

Auditions to join the troupe are held at the beginning of each semester. There is a routine taught in two clinics that includes several styles of dance. Potential members must display their skills, creativity and teamwork ability, Specht said.

The troupe has 40 members and the involvement and time commitment of each member is typically based on how many dances in which they participate.

“We practice three times a week for two hours each day,” Specht said. “However, if a dancer is only in two dances, she only attends rehearsal for three hours a week — a one-hour meeting and two one-hour rehearsals.”

The troupe does not participate in competition. Instead, they perform one dance production at the end of each semester.

“Dancers ‘audition’ their choreography ideas at the beginning of each semester. They pick the song and style. Troupe members vote on what they want to dance in. If the dance earns enough votes, then they make the show,” Specht said.

Usually, there are between 12 and 16 dances performed with one finale, comprised of all the troupe’s members.

Rockafellow, who has choreographed for the upcoming show and in the past, said it just comes easily to her.

“Usually, I will hear a song, and I will just naturally come up with an idea or concept in my head, she said. “Sometimes if the song isn’t really inspiring me at the time, I will just turn on the music, start dancing around and eventually something comes to me.”

After rehearsing the dances all semester, adjustments must be made during “tech week,” which occurs the week prior to the show in Lincoln Hall.

“We mark through formations because it’s a lot different,” said Kristen Schramm, junior in ACES. “We have more space on the stage, and we also just keep running through the show. We probably do the show at least eight times all the way through during tech week.”

The troupe will have their spring production on April 18. Admission is $5 if purchased before the show and $6 at the door. A $1 donation from each ticket sold will be made to the Dance for Life charity.

“I feel that 3Spot shows are very entertaining for anyone, even for people who don’t know much about dance, because the variety is great,” Specht said. “The songs are always different, and it is an animated and very exciting show every semester.”