By Marissa Murray, Staff Writer
The Emery Community Arts Center at the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) was jam packed on the evening of Friday December 6th, with students, faculty, and community members, all gathered to see the Bust-A-Move Beavers (BAM) give their December performence. BAM gave several performances over the weekend, the last one was a matinee on Sunday afternoon. The Emery Center was adorned with pictures and biographies of BAM members for the occasion.
Judging by the thunderous cheering and applause, the crowd really enjoyed the performance. “The audience was really supportive. It was wonderful,” said UMF junior Makenzie Yeaton.
The members of BAM were just as excited and supportive as the audience. When they were not on the stage, themselves, they were up on the balcony, cheering on the rest of the performers. BAM Vice President, Brigitta Valente, commented in an email interview on the friendships she’s made in the group.
“It is such a fun and supportive group,” said Valente. “We call ourselves a BAMily!”
Yeaton, and fellow UMF junior Karissa Porter commented that their favorite dance was performed by Alaina Shorey and James Grover III to a song called “CatGroove.” The routine featured some difficult moves that really captured the audience’s attention.“I thought for sure he was going to drop her on her head,” said Yeaton. “It came close a couple of times, but he managed to make it work,” added Porter.
The intermission featured a brief comedic, magic show hosted by Stanley the Great, also known as Austin Philips. It took the crowd a few moments to adjust to the magic show after all that dancing, but after a few tricks from Stanley the Great, the crowd was laughing and thoroughly enjoying the show.
The President of BAM, Olivia Goddard, said via email that BAM has a wide variety of dancers. “We have lyrical, modern, tap, jazz, hip-hop and contemporary dances,” said Goddard. “We work all semester on our lyrical and big group piece and individuals choreograph small group, duets, and solo dances.”
If any of the BAM members were nervous about performing, they didn’t let it show. “They are brave for getting out there in front of all these people,” said Yeaton. “I would be nervous.”
BAM also participates in Relay for Life sponsored by The American Cancer Society at the end of the year, raising money all year long, and performing at the event. “We have a spring recital as well,” said Goddard. “We also go on a group trip to see a performance in Boston or Portland usually, and sometimes perform there as well.”
Something that both Goddard and Valente stressed was that everyone is welcome in BAM. “BAM is open to all dancers of any ability!” said Goddard. BAM welcomes anyone who wants to dance. “Some of our members have danced for years, while some have no prior experience,” said Valente. “Everyone comes from a different background, so we get to explore all different styles of choreography.”