Dance team pirouettes onward

Senior Ivy Ledon, 21, practices a dance sequence with her fellow team members during a late night rehearsal for the Miami Motion Dance Team. Miami Motion is a dance club for college girls who want to continue dancing at an elite level and performing for the community. When asked why she participates in Miami Motion, fellow teammate Jessica Walton explains that the club is not so much about formal dancing, but because you love it. "It's a release for me," says Walton. Katie Sikora//The Miami Hurricane

Started in 2006 as a small organization, the Miami Motion Dance Club is growing into a UM sensation.
Miami Motion was founded by alumni Joelle Vogel, who noticed an absence of jazz, contemporary and lyrical dance teams on campus.
“The purpose of this club is for dancers to come to college and continue improving the skills they have learned throughout their life as well as those they have learned in high school,” says Joanie Oben, president of Miami Motion.
Prospective dancers must audition for a place on the team. Once assembled, the group makes a collective decision on the competitions they will participate in. Over the years, the team has taken part in numerous competitions.  Although they have yet to win one, this has not dampened their spirits.  The dance team also performs during on-campus events.
“I would have to say that the club’s greatest accomplishment has been in its transition towards participating in more campus-based events,” said Jackie Coffey, the team’s secretary.  “I feel that performing on campus more last semester allowed us to create a stronger connection here at the university.”
The average practice starts with stretching exercises followed by kicking and leaping exercises across the floor. The most emphasis is placed on technique for each exercise that is performed.
“I am glad I joined Miami Motion because I could continue dancing throughout college,” said Justine Schulz, advertising chair. “I like it because we all come from different dance backgrounds so we combine all of our ideas to make awesome choreography.”
Alumni Jenna Nicole feels the same as Schulz. She is glad she danced with Miami Motion during her time at UM.
“I was on Miami Motion for three years and I loved it,” Nicole said. “I joined the first year it started and it has grown into an incredible team. Some of the girls on the team became my very best friends at Miami, and it was always a really pleasant atmosphere to escape the stresses of schoolwork.”
Practices take place Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 to 10:30 p.m. in the wellness center.
Trial classes are Sept. 6 from 9 to 10 p.m. in the gym and Sept. 7 in the UC Ballroom A from 9 to 10:30 p.m.
Auditions for Miami Motion are Sept. 10 at 10 a.m. in the wellness center.
Miami Motion can also be followed on Facebook at
September 1, 2011


Ariele Gallardo

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.