Jocea Jordan Contributing Writer
Practicing 10 hours or more a week, UMF’s Bust-A-Move Beavers (BAM) dance group members are working hard to make their end-of-semester performance a memorable one.
BAM is one of two UMF dance groups and they hold two performances every year. Each performance is held at the end of the semester with three different show times. The dancers choreograph all 25 of the dances on their own, and even have a show reserved specifically for their parents and families.
Carson Hope, a senior early childhood special education major, is the treasurer of BAM and has been in a previous semester as well. Hope is responsible for the finances of the club and makes all of the costume purchases, fundraiser orders, and proposes the budget BAM will need for the year.
Hope has been a member of BAM for five semesters now and has made many close friends throughout her time in the club. “BAM has really brought me all of my closest friends that I have here in Farmington,” she said. “So I just have a great collection of memories of dancing with the people that I get to call my closest friends now.”
“I have danced on and off my entire life, I started dancing when I was five or six but I took several years off because I did gymnastics growing up too, and I got back into dance my freshman year here,” Hope said. “Dancing in BAM has given me a way to express myself, and to be able to have an artistic outlet, so that I can express my myself in a way that words don’t.”
“When I came here my freshman year I did not have a lot to do, but now I have this thing [BAM] that is a priority in my life, and plays an important role,” she continued.
Sierra Huff dressed as Sandy and Portia Hardy dressed as Danny from Grease the movie (Photo courtesy of Sierra Huff)
“We typically fill Emery for all of our shows, sometimes the Wednesday show doesn’t fill up, but for our Friday and Saturday shows we have people getting in line at 5:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to get a seat for the 7:00 p.m. show,” said Hope. “We typically have people that are turned away at the door. If we had a bigger space that would be great, but we don’t.”
Sierra Huff, a sophomore biology pre-med major, has been a part of BAM for three semesters now and is going to be in six dances for this semester’s performance. Huff’s favorite part of being a dance member in BAM is “meeting the new people I wouldn’t have a chance to interact with otherwise.”
“I would say the most challenging part is making sure you dedicate time to practice for each dance,” said Huff. Most of the dances that the members are in only have practice for one hour a week. “A lot of the time just the one hour rehearsal is not enough to memorize the dance if you are in close to 10 of them,” Huff said.
For bigger dances, in which most of the members are involved, there are longer practices held each week. Huff enjoys these practices and said, “It is always interesting when we cannot use the North Dining Hall because it is unavailable, so we have to practice in a Roberts classroom.” She continued on, laughing, “So we have roughly thirty people trying to move and dance together in a tiny room.”
BAM also hosts a costume contest for its members during their practice on Halloween. “It is always interesting to see what costumes the other dancers come up with,” said Huff. “This year I went as a vampire with another member of BAM. Last year I went as Sandy, and my friend Portia went as Danny, which are the main characters from ‘Grease’ the movie.”
“I also enjoy some of the other fun events that we do like Secret Santa, where members give a gift to another member that they randomly picked,” said Huff. “And the end of the semester banquet where we give out our secret santa gifts and everyone brings different food and drinks for us to enjoy together.”
Portia Hardy, a sophomore Earth and Environmental Science major with a minor in editing and publishing, has been a member of BAM for three semesters. She began dancing when she was three and a half years old at the Kennebec Dance Studio. “I really like taking part in the performance and being on stage in front of the audience, getting to be in the show makes me really happy,” she said.
“Last spring semester I choreographed a dance with my friend Matt, it was to ‘A Lovely Night’ from ‘La La Land’ and it was a really cute, fun, sweet duet,” said Hardy. “It was my favorite moment being on stage. The last show that [Matt and I] did we both smiled at each other because it was our last one together… there have been so many good memories.”
“This semester I’m doing the smallest amount of dances that I have done, I’m only in three. Last spring semester I was in six and that was the highest that I have done,” said Hardy. “Some people do like eight dances, ten dances. They really like to dance. I personally can not fit a lot into my schedule but I know that others can.”
The showtimes for BAM’s performances are on Dec. 4-7 at 7 p.m. in the Emery Community Arts Center. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for all of the shows.
By Nicole Pilote Contributing Writer
Weekly practices beginning at the end of January paid off for the forty-four UMF dancers who took part in BAM’s spring showcase. During the week of their shows, BAM put on four performances held for the student body and their parents. The dance numbers included upbeat hip-hop, tap, and contemporary routines.
A beautiful dance, “Body Love” choreographed by freshman Abigayle Weston, left the room quiet with only the sniffles of the crowd before the round of applause. Weston found the song a few months back, decided which dancers would work best with the choreography, and “everything went from there with ease,” she said.
BAM 2018. (Photo courtesy of Sylvia Brooks)
“The “Body Love” routine was elegantly put, with motions that matched to the vocals on the song,” said Eliza Halbig, a UMF student in the audience. “It focuses on how girls see themselves in society today, and that they can be strong and beautiful the way they are.”
Junior transfer student, Jamie St. Pierre, has been dancing for only two semesters. BAM was St. Pierre’s first experience with dance. “As a transfer student coming into UMF, I didn’t have many friends because I didn’t know anyone,” St. Pierre said. “When I joined BAM I got to know so many great people, and have made my closest friends through the program.” St. Pierre looks forward to continuing dance next semester and aspires to be apart of the clubs eboard.
Olivia White, a Sophomore at UMF, started her journey with BAM this spring. “I went to their fall performance and just took a chance. It’s been two years since I’ve danced in front of an audience, it was pretty nerve wracking,” said White.
Meagan Ring has been with the group for 4 semesters, and has been president of the group for 2 of them. Ring has been dancing since she was three years old and continued to dance throughout her college career. Remarking that the shows will be her last with the group, Ring said, “BAM has provided me with an opportunity to meet many new friends. I will miss the wonderful people I have met as well of one of my favorite parts of the club, recital weekends.”
Disco Mashup was the last big group performance of the night. Co-choreographed by Ring and Junior Vanessa Shaeffer, the duo put together classic disco moves to hit 70’s songs, while everyone added their own twists. The atmosphere on the dance floor gave you the urge to join the party. The eleven graduating seniors came together in centerstage dressed in colors of the rainbow ending the night as they took their last bows of the dancing season.
By Kelsey Dunn – Contributing Writer
Students were recently treated to a collaboration of UMF’s Lawn Chair Pirates (LCP), Bust A Move Beavers (BAM), and Clefnotes called “Pirates Bust a Clef” in Lincoln Auditorium. This collaboration has not happened in years, making the performance more surprising and enjoyable.
Each group is different in their own way and brings UMF an extra flare. BAM expresses themselves through dance styles such as tap, hip hop, clogging, and lyrical. LCP is UMF’s talented improv comedy group, bringing laughter to Lincoln Auditorium regularly. Clefnotes is UMF’s pop vocalist group, singing current and popular songs that students can all sing along to.
While students were filling up Lincoln Auditorium, some students sang along to the music that was playing beforehand. BAM members started to clap to a song and urged the crowd to join in. Soon, the room was filled with a rhythmic beat. The three distinctive groups were dressed in different colors; LCP wore red shirts, BAM wore black and Clefnotes wore their white club shirts.
“We spent a long time figuring out how this would all work out because we weren’t around when it happened in the past,” said Josh Beckett, a junior and co-leader of Clefnotes. “We spent a long time trying to figure out the order of who should perform, but LCP and BAM are easy to work with and really fun.”
“BAM was asked to do the event with LCP and Clefnotes,” said Paige Morrison, a senior BAM member. “Our dance routines were from the past semester dances, so nothing new was revealed before our upcoming shows.”
“Pirates Bust a Clef” started with BAM’s opening number, with the Pirates cheering them on and the crowd roaring in applause. The next performance came from LCP, who played three games; Four Square, Bachelor and Sniper. All three games made the audience laugh so much that they were crying. BAM then came back with a great performance, followed by Clefnotes performing seven songs back to back; Marvin Gay, Say You Won’t Go, Eleven Blocks, Say You Love Me, Counting Stars, Put Your Records On and Skinny Love.
The soloists captivated the crowd, including senior Krystal Livermore. “Most of their songs were really good,” she said, though she lamented one song where it was hard to hear the soloist.
LCP mixed some of their roles up, which threw Livermore off. “They mixed up the people who do their original skits. For example, in Sniper, Jonas [Maines] wasn’t the main guy like he usually is,” Livermore said.
“Pirates Bust a Clef” ended with Clefnotes singing Boondocks by Little Big Town and LCP and BAM joining them up on stage. Everyone was dancing and singing along; it was noticeable that both the audience and the performers had enjoyed their night.
Jonas Maines, a junior LCP member, believed the collaboration was a worthwhile experience. “It was a good experience to get three types of different artistic performances together,” he said. “It is to everyone’s benefit when three different styles come together to see what we all do.”
Livermore loved going to the event because she hasn’t been able to go to a Clefnotes showcase. “I loved the three in one because sometimes it’s hard to attend all of these events when we are so busy,” she said. “It was really great to get to see all three groups perform.”