By Leah Boucher, Contributing Writer 

Members of UMF's 2016 Bust-A-Move Beavers dance club. (Photo Courtesy of Danica Lamontagne)

Members of UMF’s 2016 Bust-A-Move Beavers dance club. (Photo Courtesy of Danica Lamontagne)

UMF’s premiere dance club the Bust-A-Move Beavers are focused and are in work mode for their showcase, which will take place before Thanksgiving break. With 39 members and 20 routines, the club, also known as BAM, has had only two months to prepare for their unusually early show.

Danica Lamontagne, a third-year member, choreographer and the treasurer of BAM, is impressed by each member’s efficiency in practice, especially due to a time constraint the club has faced this semester. “Our show is the week before Thanksgiving break instead of the usual show being in late November or early December,” said Lamontagne, “but dancers have really stepped up in practice by taking attendance seriously and putting forth effort every time we learn new parts to a routine.”

As the music shook the floor of North Dining Hall C during a Wednesday evening practice, giggles and whispers rapidly changed to silent voices as dancers swayed their arms and stomped their feet to the beat of African music. With leaps, turns, and lifts, 39 smiles filled the room and dancers moved in sync, bringing energy to an African-infused hip hop routine.

Kayla Tremblay, a third-year BAM member and choreographer, is working with Lamontagne to arrange this African-inspired closing routine. This style of dance is different than the usual tap, jazz, and lyrical routines, but both choreographers are optimistic about the final result. “The closing routine has all 39 members in it,” said Tremblay, “but all dancers have been more than willing to learn a new type of dance and move out of their comfort zones to bring this routine to life.”

Due to eight seniors leaving next semester for student teaching and internships, there will be a senior routine for the November showcase. “We normally only have a routine for just the seniors in the spring semester showcase,” said Lamontagne, “but with so many seniors who are not returning next semester, we felt it would be necessary to have a senior routine this semester, as well.” For this routine, seniors work together to choreograph their number, which is always a crowd-pleaser.  

One challenge the group has faced concerns the location of dance practices. Jillian Cummings, a junior and the president of BAM, is aware that in order to find space to dance, the club may not get their first choice on practice locations. “We’ve had to be flexible about where we practice,” said Cummings. “We usually practice in North Dining Hall, but if there’s an event we move to Roberts 101.” This room is difficult to dance in because of the floor and size of the space, but BAM members make it work in order to get the most out of each practice.

The BAM showcases will take place November 16th and 17th at 7 p.m. and November 19th at 7 p.m. with an earlier performance at 2 p.m. for family members. Each showcase will be held in the Emery Community Arts Center. Admission is free to students and non-students alike, but there is limited seating.