By Leah Boucher -Staff Reporter
The sun shone on a Friday morning through the basement windows of Dakin into the dance studio, where red and dark blue costumes reflected their sparkles onto the walls. Three mirrors placed together on the front wall captured a choreographer in leggings and a comfy green sweatshirt mouthing the count of the music while the floor vibrated with the bass of hip-hop music.
Kayla Tremblay, the dancer in front of these mirrors, can be found here for at least a half an hour each Sunday through Friday dancing in eight different routines for Bust-A-Move Beavers (BAM), the dance club on campus she has been a member of since the first semester of her freshman year.
Tremblay, a senior Elementary Education major, smiled and leaned back on the wall filled with old dance showcase posters from the 90’s as she thought back to her previous years of dance. “This will be my 19th year of dance, and I started dancing at Steppin’ Out Dance Centre in Saco, Maine, at the age of three,” said Tremblay. “It has always been a way for me to let my stress from work and school out.”
Her motivation to continue dance past high school even led her to participate in a clogging competition with Danica Lamontagne, another BAM member, this past spring, where they placed first. “This was the first competition that I signed up to do without being part of a competition team,” said Tremblay, “and being able to make the choice by myself was a big step of independence and confidence for me.”
This stress relief activity is helpful now more than ever, as Tremblay has been a member of BAM, Rotaract, the Rugby Team, French Club and chair of the Spring Fling committee, as well as Alpha Lambda Delta, in which she holds the position of President. She also just finished mailing out cards for “Brocktober” at UMF, where people write and decorate Halloween cards for a terminally ill boy named Brock in Biddeford. Her natural leadership abilities led her to organize this event all on her own while encouraging the clubs she is a part of to contribute, as well.
“When I first heard about Brock, I knew I wanted to get involved,” said Tremblay. “I knew if I reached out to other UMF clubs and organizations, they could help to make this event bigger than just myself writing several cards to him.”
Tremblay wiped off her forehead as if to get rid of the sweat from just thinking about her hectic daily schedule. “I work about 15 hours a week in the Partnership for Civic Advancement office, and with a full load of classes, plus all my clubs, sometimes I am forced to eat dinner on the run or do my homework in 15-minute increments,” said Tremblay.
Reflecting back on her four years in BAM, Tremblay’s face became solemn, but she then quickly switched back to her usual radiant grin. “It’s bittersweet knowing that I’m leaving such a supportive group when I graduate this May,” she said. “Everyone is willing to block out everything else that they may have going on to be an active part of rehearsal, but if someone does need support, there’s 41 other people to listen and help–it’s the perfect family network to be a part of.”