How to dance in albion

Albion College Dance Team: In Step for 25 Years and Counting

From its origins as the Briton Rhythm Squad in the mid-1990s to today, alums and current members of the student organization line up for a reunion at Homecoming.

October 21, 2021

Isabela Urbanski, ’22, and Jackie Espinoza, ’23, are co-captains of the 2021-22 Albion College Dance Team.

By Ariel Berry (updated October 25, 2021)

Music pumps through loudspeakers. Dancers leap and twirl across the ball court. The crowd cheers as one dancer flips across the floor in dance-inspired gymnastics. This is the Albion College Dance Team, performing at halftime.

The Albion College Dance Team, formerly the Briton Rhythm Squad, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. At the team’s reunion during Homecoming on October 23, current members and alums performed choreography together during the football pregame festivities. (Watch video of the performance.) The Physics Department’s Dr. Nicolle Zellner, Herbert H. & Grace A. Dow Trustees’ Professor in the Sciences and the team’s advisor, also joined the group.

The Dance Team is a noncompetitive, student-run organization for students who want to continue dancing in college. Zellner has advised the team since 2006 and says she views her role as supporting the dancers on the team and making sure “that all of the dancers are enjoying their time on the team.” She helps with tryouts and selecting team captains, but the student co-captains are the ones who run practices and create choreography.

Jessilynn Norcross, ’98, and Camille Billips, ’98, took the first steps toward creating the team in 1994. Norcross says she and Billips “were on the same hall in Wesley in the fall of 1994. When we didn’t find a dance squad to try out for at Briton Bash, we wondered if we could start one ourselves.”

The two students soon founded the Briton Rhythm Squad; its beginnings were far from glamorous.

“We had no funding, and one of our first money-raising activities was to go around and pick up returnable cans from the previous night’s party at various fraternities on campus,” says Norcross. “It was disgusting. But it raised us enough money for uniforms, and didn’t cut into our study hours during the week.”

Down Memory Lane

With funding for the team secured, the Briton Rhythm Squad took off. The members were dedicated to their craft, but the work was rewarding, too. “It was hard, so you couldn’t think about your course load or anything else while you were memorizing the routines and practicing, making it the best mental break from classes and studying,” Norcross explains. Norcross and Billips remained dedicated to the squad, serving as co-captains and supervising the incoming captains in 1998, a requirement of their bylaws.

Norcross had a background in dance that she drew on as co-captain. “I’d been the captain of my pomponette squad in high school where lots of us wished we’d had a dance squad. Since our little rural town didn’t have anything like that, it was the best we could do,” she says. “I learned to take chances and built on the jazz, hip-hop and dance classes I’d had as a kid. It’s a lot different dancing with a group than by yourself, and I missed it a lot when I came to Albion.” The Briton Rhythm Squad filled that void for her and the other dancers on the squad.

Norcross fondly remembers technical difficulties that at the time were a hassle. “The music never worked when it was time to perform,” she says. “The technology of the late ’90s was pretty ridiculous. We were still using mix tapes, and I’m 99 percent sure the guys put the tape in wrong at every halftime, so I had to run back there and fix it.”

Lots of fun memories are tied up in the Rhythm Squad. Norcross remembers one particularly difficult practice. “I taught myself a section of an award-winning routine from a dance competition tape—yes, we still used VHS tapes in the 90s—that I never thought we’d learn. When we conquered it, after a crazy-long practice, we all jumped around laughing like sweaty idiots. It was great,” she says. Norcross says she still dances now, sometimes with her young daughter. “Zumba is my happy place,” she says.

Team Transformation

Before a 2001 Kresge Gymnasium performance, Dance Team members gather for a group photo. (Photo courtesy Mandy Gove)

In the 2000s, the team transformed from the Briton Rhythm Squad to the Briton Dance Team to the Albion College Dance Team. Team captain Mandy Gove, ’04, remembers a shift in the type of dancing that was done as well. “Freshman year it was kind of casual, fun dancing, but by senior year then it turned very technical,” she says. “So there was a big change from the Rhythm Squad vibe to actual choreographed leaps and turns, more of the tech side of things. It was cool to see that change over the years.”

The Dance Team was a nice opportunity for students who wanted to continue dancing in College, even if they weren’t taking dance classes. The dancers took the team seriously and, Gove says, “I think we were able to elevate over time, and keep pushing and make things harder, and keep challenging ourselves.

The dancers on the team were close, Gove says, and have kept in touch. “My co-captain, Brooke Reich-Lucas, ’03, delivered my daughter,” she says. “That was a fun story, that she ended up being our OB.” And that isn’t the only family connection Gove has with the Dance Team. “We did a couples dance, and I have pictures of me dancing with my now husband in our uniforms,” she says. Even Albion’s president at the time, Dr. Peter Mitchell, did a routine with the team, a big hit with the crowd.

Ultimately, it was the other team members who made being on the team a valuable experience. “Really, the practices were just a lot of fun. Sometimes the group would all come together to make up parts of the dance if something wasn’t working out well,” Gove recalls. “It was just a really good vibe with the group, all different years, all different backgrounds, some were not at all involved in classic dancing but just loved to do it. It was a cool way to connect.”

When she watches the team perform now, Gove says, “I love watching the evolution of the uniforms. ” She remembers her team hand-making their uniforms and how it added to their overall bonding. “I remember us using some sort of tool to put rhinestones on our costumes one by one,” Gove says. “Everyone worked really hard, everyone really cared.”

Gina Delgado, ’04, was also on the team in the 2000s. She was a competitive figure skater before coming to Albion, and wanted an outlet to enjoy dance while at college. “Freshman year my closest friends would always have dance parties in our dorm room. We ended up seeing the flyer for tryouts and had a blast,” Delgado says.

She, too, appreciated the closeness of the team. “The team was the perfect mix of Alpha Chis, Thetas and Alpha Xi girls. We were all so close and looked forward to dancing and practicing all the time. It was our happy time.” Many of the team members still dance, and even for those who don’t, Delgado says, “when us Dance Team girls get together, there’s no doubt that we all still remember moves to our routines.”

The Team Today

Urbanski and Espinoza warm up on Schmidt-Fraser Field days before the Dance Team’s Homecoming performance at Sprankle-Sprandel Stadium.

The team’s current co-captains are Jackie Espinosa, ’23, and Isabela Urbanski, ’22. Espinosa says she enjoys performing at the football and basketball games. “My favorite memory was my first football dance performance freshman year. It was right before we danced when it hit me that I was in an actual college dance team. I never had thought that I would keep dancing after high school, so realizing that made me happy because I knew I could keep doing what I love to do just for a bit longer,” she says.

Urbanski relishes the rush of a performance as well. “I love the feeling of the crowd cheering for us as we perform,” she says. Being team leaders has been lots of work for Espinosa and Urbanski, but they have used the opportunity to learn and grow. Urbanski says she wants all the dancers on the team to enjoy themselves. “I include them in making up routines and ideas for the team so they feel included,” she says. “As a leader, I strive to be the best captain I can be by listening to the girls and taking in their suggestions and implementing them.

Espinosa agrees. “If someone struggles with doing a certain part of the dance,” she says, “I can be able to help them by hearing their thoughts on how they are struggling and I can come up with a solution or certain technique to help them get better.”

Dr. Zellner, the team’s advisor, is continually impressed by the group. “The team members work together to choreograph and perform entertaining dance routines. The dancers are respectful; they are good students; and they are great ambassadors for Albion College,” she says. “I have always found the team to be a class act every single year. I am so proud of what they do every season.”

Preschool, dancewear business join Gotta Dance in Albion

Photos by Tom Rivers: Amy Sidari, owner of Gotta Dance by Miss Amy, welcomed Jordan Thomas to the building at 28 West Bank St. as the operator of a new reschool called The Beehive.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 September 2022 at 6:59 pm

ALBION – The Gotta Dance Studio by Miss Amy in Albion has become a busier place. There is a new preschool and owner of a shop that sells dance supplies.

The building at 28 West Bank St. for about 20 years has been used for dance classes, and in recent years has hosted cabaret shows and other live performances.

Last week a preschool started at Gotta Dance. The Beehive serves eight children ages 3-4. Jordan Thomas runs the preschool from 9 to 11 a.m., Monday through Thursday.

Thomas, 24, also is a dance instructor at Gotta Dance working with preschoolers. She started dancing at the studio in 2012.

Amy Sidari, owner of Gotta Dance, sees first-hand how Thomas connects with younger children and keeps them happy and motivated. Sidari welcomed the chance to have one of the three dance studios be used for preschoolers in the morning.

“It makes sense to maximize the hours in the buildings,” Sidari said. “We want this building to maximized for the community at all hours for all ages.”

The Beehive helps prepare the preschoolers for kindergarten. Thomas runs a program that teaches social skills and respect others, often incorporating singing and dancing. The kids learn how to express their feelings and emotions in a safe environment. There are plenty of crafts, and activities where they learn colors, counting, days of the week, the weather and reading.

“We stress kindness, respect and listening skills,” Thomas said.

She said the Beehive helps fill a preschool gap in the community. She used to work at the former Rainbow Preschool in Albion as a one-on-one aide. That school closed in August 2020.

“There are so many kids and not enough places for them to go,” Thomas said about local preschools.

Mandee Heinsler owns the Barre Boutqiue at Gotta Dance. She has taken over the part of the business where Gotta Dance students and other sin the community can buy ballet, tap and jazz shoes. Heinsler will also do fitting for point shoes and sew ribbons on those. She learned the art of fitting point shoes from Sidari.

Heinsler’s daughters – Evee, 15, and Thalia, 10 – are both dancers at Gotta Dance.

Heinsler also sells dance leotards, from sizes toddler to adult, and tights, including ones that are convertible. The Barre Boutique also has graphic tees and other trendy clothing, including gifts.

Heinsler named it “Barre Boutique” not for the town in Orleans County. In ballet and dance, the barre is the horizontal handrail that is fixed to the walls of a studio.

The boutique will be open from 4 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday with some Saturday hours expected in the future. Heinsler also will be available for appointments. Contact her through the Barre Boutique Facebook page for more information.

Sidari has made another big change at Gotta Dance. Crystal Hallenbeck, a dance instructor there since 2001, will serve as manager of operations. She also works as a budget director at Brockport State College. She has a doctorate degree in executive leadership.

Sidari said the changes will allow her to step back from some of the day-to-day demands of running the studio and business. She recently became a grandmother with a second grandchild due soon.

She was considering selling the building and closing Gotta Dance in June, but a new team came together that Sidari expects will take the place to new heights.

“This year will be rocking,” she said. “It’s everybody that works here. I know I can walk away a little bit but I’m still here.”

Sidari said the cabaret already has five shows with bus tours lined up. She and Hollenbeck also will work on monthly events, including a kids night out in October and dance-a-thon.

Sidari said other activities are in the works, and she also rents out the cabaret room as an events/conference venue with the professional technology equipment available.

“Here we have a genuine love for everyone,” Sidari said. “Come as you are and we will help you meet your goals. This has always been my home and my place to help others’ dreams come true.”

10 ways to win the trust of the parents of the future wife - Blog

Parents are not chosen. Do not choose the parents of the girl with whom you decide to build a serious relationship. Of course, one can hope that such a wonderful person was brought up by good people, but more often it is not so simple. We analyze how not to lose face at a meeting with the parents of the future wife and get reliable allies in the planned family life.

What is it for

Of course, you are dating a girl, not her relatives, and by and large you owe nothing to anyone. But like it or not, her parents' opinion of you matters. Perhaps these are your future relatives. They probably have leverage over their daughter. They will most likely be grandparents to your children. And if you do not try to establish contact, this will significantly complicate your family life.

If a prospective meeting weighs on you, take the new challenge not as a routine, but as an opportunity to "pump" your skills. The ability to gain trust is a universal quality that will come in handy more than once in life. And finding a common language with the older generation is indispensable, for example, in building a career, because most bosses are also older than you.

How to behave

1. Try to find out more about her parents in advance and draw conclusions. What age, social class, field of work, interests, hobbies. Memorize what your girlfriend says and don't hesitate to ask direct questions if there isn't enough information. Do your parents have different last names? Does your father always hang out in the garage? Was your mom serious about ballroom dancing? By the way, will there be other relatives at dinner? The fewer surprises the better.

2. Dress well. The style depends on the situation, but business is almost always ideal (a loose suit or shirt and trousers, dress shoes).

3. Grab a gift: maybe a bottle of wine, a bouquet for mom, or something you learned about in conversations with a friend.

4. When meeting, be sure of yourself, smile and do not hide your eyes. Shake hands. If mom hugs you, that's good too. Do not call the girl's parents by name (and even more so mom and dad!), until they ask for it themselves. The classic polite name-patronymic name will be just right.

5. Show that you care about your girlfriend (help out of the car, hold her hand, pull out a chair for her when she sits down). Tell us what you like to do together, but don't be frivolous, everything should be decent.

6. At the table, act like you would on a first date or an interview: try to be the best version of yourself. Listen carefully and keep up the conversation, but don't jump in and voice your opinion unless asked. By the way, this skill is useful in life in general.

There are other "nots" in conversations

  • Don't be silent and answer questions honestly (just don't overdo it with directness).
  • Do not communicate only with your girlfriend: you have come to meet her parents and must talk to them. If you are shy, make an effort on yourself and remember the information that you collected before the meeting.
  • Do not touch on sensitive and ambiguous issues such as politics or religion. The older generation likes to discuss bureaucrats, authorities, or even Stalin at the table, but do not support such a conversation (even when you are sure that your arguments will easily break the arguments of the opposite side).
  • Don't be sour and don't talk about the negative. Do you hate neighbors who are always renovating an apartment, or a strict boss? Forget about it for now and talk about your hobbies and what makes you happy.

7. Be sure to turn off your phone: the sound of other people's notifications annoys everyone, especially the landline generation.

8. Give compliments. If you don’t know what to praise for, except for your appearance, you are here. You can joke, but without getting personal and not through words (it's better to seem too serious than a frivolous joker).

9. Don't drink too much. Let you "know the measure" and "do not get drunk", do not forget that you are being closely watched. It wasn’t enough for your friend to make excuses for you later and listen to your mother’s lamentations in the spirit of “he’ll get drunk, you can immediately see by him.”

10. If you're having dinner at her parents' house, offer to help clean up after the meeting. When you say goodbye, thank you for the evening. Tell your girlfriend later that you had a good time. Even if this is not entirely true, she will tell her parents about your impression, which will positively reflect on their opinion of you.

Quick Start Guide

Dress well, don't forget a gift. Be polite and take care of your girlfriend. Chat, smile and talk about positive things. Demonstrate the qualities expected in a man by older people and a particular social class (for example, confidence, seriousness, sense of humor). If these qualities exist, of course, there is no need to pretend. Be ready to help and give thanks for the evening.

Quick Start Guide

Do not interrupt or intervene. Remember that some people are touchy and may be biased towards you, so do not touch slippery questions and things that are not approved. At the same time, do not remain silent and use the information received in advance to keep the conversation going. Don't drink a lot, don't talk about negativity, and don't make sharp jokes (even if it seems that this one is definitely successful).

Novosibirsk pole dance performers blew up the Puritan Foggy Albion

February 14, 2018 00:13

Black swimwear, fishnet tights, bright make-up. Well, the pylon. In the photo - Lyudmila Lazebnaya and Varvara Ilyina. Dancers from Novosibirsk who managed to provoke a scandal in the UK. And the scandal is sexist.

Black swimwear, fishnet tights, bright makeup. Well, the pylon. In the photo - Lyudmila Lazebnaya and Varvara Ilyina. Dancers from Novosibirsk who managed to provoke a scandal in the UK. And the scandal is sexist.

But not to get ahead of ourselves. They performed in London, at the booth of one of the Czech companies as part of the gambling business exhibition. After receiving an official invitation. In three days they performed about twenty numbers on their poles. We rehearsed for a long time. Laid out - to the maximum. And they were satisfied with themselves. At least, we are sure that there was no one more beautiful than them at the exhibition.

Yes, not everyone appreciated it. On the second day, some people appeared, either spectators or representatives of other exhibitors. And they severely criticized this very Czech company for using the female body for selfish purposes. Well, then - publications in the media. Like the Daily Mail and The Guardian. The message is the same: a promotion built on attractiveness is unethical.

Their hot dances have been warming Siberian men for a long time. But now this duet conquers the world stage. And if the ascent begins with a scandal, even better. More views on the Internet - more media attention.

They ask not to be compared to striptease workers. With nightclubs for adults, the only thing in common is a pole dance pylon. Pole dance is a combination of theatrical art, dance and acrobatics. Such girls are happy to see not only at parties, but also at solid events. Trade shows, conferences, presentations.

Western tabloids have accused Russian women of promoting obscene behavior at an IT technology exhibition. The girls may not have been understood in the high society of Britain, but the men who came to evaluate modern virtual reality, judging by the photos and videos, not only saw the merits of dancing, but also touched it live.

"This is an incredibly difficult sport, because it includes acrobatic, gymnastic elements, stretching, wrapping, flexibility and, at the same time, some kind of plot in some competitions," explains Oleg Kolvakh, finalist of the Russian pole dance championship .

Some criticize the duo from Novosibirsk for being too frank on stage.

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