Ah, Temple University—home of the Owls, Bob Saget and a largely diverse student population. But what might not come to mind when you think of this university? Probably dance. At Temple, you will find over 20 different on-campus student dance organizations that range from salsa to tap to belly dancing. These Temple University dance organizations dance at events all around campus and strut their stuff. Each and every group puts time, dedication and heart into their performances to show how much they love dance and Temple, too. These orgs help to keep the art of dance alive.
Get down and boogie with these 10 diverse dance orgs at Temple.
1. Temple Tappers
Channel your inner Singin’ in the Rain vibes with the Temple Tappers. This org aims to spread the love of tap dancing and keep tap dance alive in the Temple community. From rhythm tap to Broadway tap, the Temple Tappers perform a little bit of everything. “Temple Tappers has given me friends from different majors and cities that I only met because we tap. Dance will always be the base of the friendships we make in Temple Tappers,” Temple senior and Temple Tappers Vice President Maria Guido said. You can find the Temple Tappers performing at a variety of events around campus including Night Owl Events, Relay for Life, Hootathon and their annual spring recital.
2. Esencia Latina
Salsa dancing definitely tops chips and salsa—in spiciness and in health value. Take it from Esencia Latina. Salsa, a social dance form, originated from cha-cha, mambo and other types of dance. Salsa incorporates a lot of hip, arm and upper body movements. “Our group is passionate about spreading the Latino culture through the art form of dance,” Temple senior and President Kassandra Delossantos said. Esencia Latina focuses on both individual and partner salsa dancing within their group. They hold auditions every semester for those interested in joining. The group conducts a couple workshops a year to teach others about the art and culture of salsa dancing. In addition, they hold their annual gala every spring. The gala includes performances by Esencia Latina, raffles, traditional Latin food and more.
3. Ladies of Elegance Step Team
Step dancing consists of many stomps, claps and other intricate movements. Master the art of stepping and learn the significance of every movement with the Ladies of Elegance Step Team. The Ladies of Elegance stand as a fierce group of women, as well as the only all-female, non-Greek step organization on Temple’s main campus. The group promotes health, fitness and self-confidence to its members, all while sharing their love of stepping. They also take stepping to the competitive level and represent Temple at step competitions along the east coast, including their annual competition held at the Temple Performing Arts Center called Step or Die. “The Ladies of Elegance Step Team is more than a performance group,” Temple senior and President Jordan Yancey said. “We are a powerful, diverse group of women who love to use our bodies as instruments to tell a story. There is a different message in every hit, clap and stomp. We are more than an organization, we are a sisterhood.” Learn about stepping at one of their workshops, or try out for their team in the fall.
4. Temple Breakers
Do you remember watching the Step Up movies with your friends and gawking over the dancers’ cool moves? Get down and bust a move like the dancers in Step Up with the Temple Breakers. The Temple Breakers strive to spread the knowledge of hip hop and break dancing culture to the Temple community. The group welcomes students of all levels and provides a space to practice the art of break dancing. They offer free workshops throughout the year with professional dancers so the group can learn and improve their skills, all while having a great time together.
5. Temple Craasfire
The traditional Indian folk dance called Raas, also referred to as Garba, gains more popularity each day. Garba consists of many circular and spiral motions of the arms and body. You don’t need any experience to learn this style of dance with Temple Craasfire. As put on their OwlConnect page: ain’t nobody flyer than Craasfire! Temple Craasfire strives to bring this dance and culture to the Temple University community. “Craasfire is really big on being a craasfamily,” Temple Craasfire co-captains Kishan Patel, Siya Kashwala and Anjali Sheth said. “We all come from different backgrounds/cultures but we all love doing Garba and the family vibes make being part of the team 10 times more fun.”
6. Irish Dance Team
Picture yourself at the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade, performing with all the groups to join in the festivities. Believe it or not, you can fulfill this dream. Hop and pick up your feet with Temple’s Irish Dance Team. The Irish Dance Team strives to spread the love and knowledge of Irish dancing and Irish culture to the Temple University community as well as around Philadelphia. The team often competes to showcase their skills and their love of the art. This past semester, the group won Best Adult Ceili in the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade. They also won this same award in 2016. “I think what I love most about Temple Irish Dance is the people on the team,” Temple senior and president Abby Jordan said. “We have dancers of all levels from all over the world and it’s so fun to connect with everyone and watch them grow as dancers and as people throughout their time at Temple.” Connect with your Irish heritage and learn about the art of Irish dancing with the Irish Dance Team.
7. Uzuri Dance Company
Looking for a place where spirituality and dance come together? Connect to your inner spirituality through dance with Uzuri Dance Company. They specialize in contemporary and modern dance, and they strive to let go of the stigma and the notions of an ideal dancer. The group’s purpose is to empower all women, especially women of color, through dance. UDC strives to provide a home centered around self-love and positive energy for its dancers. They focus on spiritual, mental and physical uplifting through dance. Check out their annual spring showcase to get a taste of their unique style.
8. By Any Means Necessary (BAMN)
Do you love hip-hop and busting a move? Then check out By Any Means Necessary Dance Company (BAMN). BAMN consists of a strong and powerful group of performers who strive to express themselves through all styles of dance. The styles of dance that they perform include a combination of hip-hop, dancehall, ballet, contemporary, lyrical, jazz and club—a mouthful of words that turns into some beautiful performances. “BAMN is more than a dance team, it’s a family (or we call it a BAMNily),” Temple senior and President Jazmine Clarke said. “We laugh, cry, get mad, or get happy, but we always get things done and we always love each other because that is what family does. There’s one thing that BAMN is always known for and that is putting on a show. We continuously work hard and use our time and effort to create a fantastic performance. BAMN is a family and I will always love that I am a part of it.” BAMN loves to collaborate with other dance groups and other organizations on campus to create bonds and connections. Four other student organizations performed at their spring showcase this year. They want all of the Temple community to enjoy their performances and see what they’re all about.
9. Temple University Belly Dancing Club
When you decided to go to Temple Univeristy, you probably didn’t imagine that you’d have the opportunity to pursue your dream of belly dancing. Lucky for you, you can shake it out with the Temple University Belly Dancing Club. Belly dancing originated in Egypt, and it incorporates complex movements of the torso. Temple’s Belly Dancing Club dedicates their time to learning and practicing the art of belly dancing. “Temple University Belly Dancing is a bit different from other dance clubs at Temple. Though we do have ‘tryouts’ every year, we are less talent based,” Temple junior and President Maya Jurasinski said. “We accept members with any amount of dance experience, including those with no experience whatsoever. Our main theme is body positivity and using belly dance to express that in a welcoming environment. Move your body, love your body.” They practice many different belly dance styles including Khaleeji, American-style Tribal Improv, Cabaret and Bellywood, and some of their dances incorporate fancy costumes including veils or zills. The group advocates for diversity by accepting people of all different backgrounds and experience levels.
10. InMotion Dance Team
Do you enjoy pouring your heart out onstage while performing a moving lyrical piece, or putting all your energy into an upbeat jazz number? Check out InMotion Dance Team for more contemporary styles of dance. InMotion specializes in jazz, lyrical/modern, hip hop and tap. The dancers work as a team to develop choreography and sharpen their technical skills in these styles of dance. “What I love about InMotion Dance is the fact that our team consists of so many different types of dance backgrounds, and we are able to come together and do what we all love to do,” Temple senior and President Katie Kernoschak said. “Everyone brings their own unique style of dance and creativity, and shares it with everyone on the team. Because we are a smaller team, we also are able to get to know each other and become a great group of friends. The friendships and bonds we make on this team will still exist even after we graduate, and our love for dance is what brought us together.” InMotion performs many times throughout the year, and they host their annual Operation Collaboration in February. This event includes many of the dance orgs on campus, and they all come together to perform. The proceeds from the performance go to Temple’s Hootathon to benefit the children at CHOP.