With Valentine”s Day looming on the horizon, many students find themselves dreading a lonely date on the couch with the Winter Olympics. Lucky for these unfortunate souls, the girls of Impact Dance have come to the rescue with their high-energy, eye-catching dance moves. This year their annual show will be performed at 8 p.m. the night of Valentine”s Day and the following night at the Michigan Theater, giving everyone (even the dateless!) an excuse to go out.

Paul Wong
The ladies of Impact Dance will strut their stuff this weekend at the Michigan Theater.<br><br>Courtesy of Impact Dance

The performance, featuring not only the girls of Impact Dance, but also interludes by Amazin” Blue and Comedy Company, will introduce the new student choreography from the 2001/2002 season. It will combine classical jazz, modern dance, hip-hop, tap, lyrical and pointe to appeal to its diverse audience. The wide range of dance styles parallels the interesting and broad array of music chosen by the girls, stretching from Ani Difranco to Britney Spears to Frank Sinatra.

Alicia Gimenez, an LSA senior and second-year member of Impact said, “There”s a lot of variety it”s not just pop.” While trying to appeal to the masses with sure hits like Britney Spears” “Slave” and U2″s “Elevation,” the girls aren”t afraid to take chances, including a modern ballet version of Steve Rich”s minimalist song “Zenophobic?” in the lineup for this weekend.

Among the works to be performed is a collaborative choreographic effort in tribute to the events of Sept. 11. The dance is performed to an Enya song with a projection of images taken from the tragedy in the background. Earlier this year, the number helped to raise over $2,000 for New York firefighters at a local fundraiser.

With so many diverse members, most having been trained in different forms of dance, the assortment and range of the student-choreographed numbers are no surprise. Impact currently consists of 12 talented undergraduates who have been selected for their performance ability and excellence in choreographic creativity. The choreographers come from intense dance backgrounds, including work with Enrique Iglesias, various dance companies and multiple competitions throughout the United States.

For most members the diverse repertoire is a challenge, but a welcome one. Alissa Newman, an LSA senior and co-chair of Impact said, “It”s been a great experience to keep dancing and learn the extremes of what I can do. This company does so many different styles.”

Impact Dance began in 1983 as Impact Jazz Dance. The company was created by two women and one man who realized that the University did not provide a means for non-dance majors to pursue dance performance throughout their college years. A proposal was brought to the University Activities Center and Impact was born. Impact has since evolved into an ever-changing company that holds auditions annually for both male and female members and produces two shows the annual Impact Dance show and Dance Mix.

This year”s show should live up to the outstanding reputation it established in years past. The excitement on stage will reflect not only the energetic music and dance moves, but also months of hard work and dedication from this totally student-produced group. Every aspect of the show is controlled by the dancers, from the lighting to the editing and publicity. Anna Reby, a senior in LSA and co-chair of Impact said of the performance, “It”s college students who want to perform, who have a common art and want to share it with people.” With the growing popularity of Impact and a venue as large and well known as the Michigan Theater, the girls should have plenty of people sharing and smiling this Valentine”s Day.

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