In the middle of October, as students were getting ready for the reading period, Lawrentians received as surprising treat as they were eating dinner and conversing with friends at the Andrew Commons cafeteria. A group of students wearing all black emerged from different areas of the room chanting and jumping and hyping up the crowd of Lawrence students.
Immediately following, music blasted, ceasing the normal talking and eating, and the group of students broke out in striking choreography. Before this surprising event, Lawrence students had absolutely no idea what was about to occur, but afterwards, Lawrentians finally got a taste of a new movement that is in the process of growing.
Massive Movement is a brand new dance group at Lawrence that originated from LU Hip Hop. The group’s main focus was to bring a brand new culture of dance that has not been showcased enough at Lawrence.
“We wanted to start something different,” said president and junior Jessica Robbins. “There are other groups on campus but I have not seen some street hip hop. So it’s interesting to bring modern Hip hop dance from Lawrence students rather than getting people from outside to perform for us.”
Although Hip Hop was one of the main influences of Massive Movement, members have expressed there was more to the group than what many Lawrentians think is Hip Hop.
“What we try to focus on is commercial hip hop,” said choreographer and freshman Kenneth Herrera. “The dances that you see on TV like behind Chris Brown and Janet Jackson. There’s structure, swag, style, patterns and transitions. That’s what I like to do because that’s what I learned.”
In addition to Hip Hop, Massive Movement is also trying to expose themselves and the Lawrence community to different dances including modern and contemporary dance, jazz and Bollywood, which will be taught by freshman Gintu Kottarathil. Even though members of Massive Movement wants to promote their dance cultures, they are also opened to learning other dances and welcomes people in different genres to come in and incorporate their dancing styles within the group.
“Massive movement is not only affiliated with hip hop,” said Herrera. “The president and vice president might not know what you want, but you are more than able to teach us.”
Massive Movement is not just a dance class that teaches people about different dances, but it is a dance group that requires that involvement of all its members’ commitment and ideas and this was one of the main causes of the flash mob that took place.
“The whole idea arrived because we wanted to do something different at Lawrence,” said Vice President and sophomore Da’jia Cornick. “But it was the ideas of different members of the group that really inspired us.”
“It was just the huge interest level of the members that contributed to it,” said Robbins. “I’ve never seen anything like this done at Lawrence. I’ve seen swing dance put on performance in the cafeteria but it was all advertised and people knew about it. But I’ve never seen anyone just come out of nowhere and start dancing in the cafeteria. I’ve only seen it in movies.”
But despite the success of the flash mob and the positive responses, it produced a feeling of fear of joining rather than their intended goal to generate interests in joining.
“I talked to a lot of people about it and some of them said, ‘I really love your dance you guys are amazing,’ and I said, ‘Okay, cool. You should come dance with us” said Cornick. “And when I said that, they were like ‘no. I don’t dance like you guys.You guys are like professional.'”
Although many people may feel this way about the group, Massive Movement wants people to know that they are not looking for people with any dance experience or any particular dancing skill.
“You have to be very motivated and it takes a lot of skill to be motivated so I guess we are asking for a skilled dancer,” said Herrera. “But we try to make it equally as fun and hard at the same time. What we’re looking for is someone who’s willing to learn and work to get the steps.”
“I was never a professional dancer,” said Cornick. “I never went to any classes or anything like that. I’m just here to have fun.”
Massive Movement consists of many beginners so a lot of people in the group are not only exposing themselves to dancing but also performing.
“Even though the flashmob was a good way of promoting our group, it was also good practice of performing,” said Herrera. “That’s probably the most intense feeling because there are all kinds of people watching you from every angle. So you have to be perfect from the front, back, left and right.”
Massive Movement evolved from being a dance club in which people teach you how to dance into an actual dance group that prepares for actual performances.
“We’re planning on participating in even more events on campus because I do not want this to be a dance group that just comes out for cabaret and that’s it. I want our involvement on campus to be consistent,” said Cornick.
“I want this group to become a school spirit type of thing.” said Robbins. “I want people to see our dance group as a representation of Lawrence. I want this group to change the Lawrence environment and make it better.”
Massive Movement is still in the process of making life at Lawrence and more exciting. In fact, they will be performing for the halftime shows for the first home men’s and women’s basketball games on Nov. 15, thus proving that this group is about to be a movement that is consistently growing.
“I see this dance group being a legacy on campus,” said Herrera. “Being a role model that proves that something this small can grow into something big on this campus. I hope this dance group will stay alive and that no one will give up on it.”
For more information about Massive Movement, contact Robbins.