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ENVY supports members, shines on the dance floor

Thembiso Mawema

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ENVY dance team performs at their annual showcase. Photo courtesy of ENVY.

Chico State’s hip hop dance team, ENVY, knows large audiences, loud cheers and major rounds of applause all too well.

ENVY has been recognized as one of Chico State’s favorite dance teams for the past seven years.

Dejai Polk, junior kinesiology major, has been dancing with ENVY for years.

“I’ve been dancing for ENVY for about two and a half years,” Polk said. “Ever since I was a freshman and I absolutely love every moment of it.”

Before dancing for ENVY, Polk danced competitively and cheered for her high school cheer squad.

“I’ve been dancing for about seven years and I usually do hip hop, but I’ve also done cheer,” Polk said. “Cheer was a really big part of my dance culture, but now I’m just sticking to hip hop.”

Cheerleading and dancing fall under the same umbrella. However, they are completely different from each other, said Polk.

“Dancing hip hop routines for ENVY is extremely different from doing cheer routines,” Polk said. “The movement, the attitude and the motion and speed of the dance moves overall give off a different energy.”

Being true to herself as a person is something Polk continues to do as a dancer, she said.

“I chose ENVY because I love the style and manner in which we dance, and I am able to be myself,” Polk said.

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ENVY before the MAC showcase performance. Photo courtesy of ENVY.

The majority of the dance team members are females. As a result, there is a misconception that the team only recruits female dancers.

“ENVY is for everyone. Boys, girls, everyone,” Polk said. “Our team is diverse and we encourage students of all backgrounds to try out and be a part of something great.”

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The dance team practices their hip hop routine for future performances. Photo courtesy of ENVY dance team

With dancing comes performances, and this team knows all about performing.

“We perform at MAC night which is a really cool event the university puts on. In addition, we perform at the Momentum and Expressions showcases, and this semester we’ll be performing at basketball games,” she said. “We also do flash mobs which are always fun, and we’ve even performed for Action News.”

Performances come with a lot of practices to make sure all dancers do their best.

“We practice three days a week, for about two hours each practice,” Polk said. “We practice a little more depending on whether or not we have a performance coming up.”

ENVY thrives on working collectively as a team.

“We’re just a group that’s able to collaborate together, rather than one person being in charge of everything. We’re able to communicate as a team,” Polk said. “That’s really my favorite thing about the team. I love the way we come together and I really enjoy the family aspect of things.”

ENVY regards its dedication to the team and support for each other as one of its best aspects.

“What has kept ENVY going for so long is the people and the commitment to the school and overall commitment to dance,” Polk said. “It has to be something that you love to do, and we all love to dance and perform.”

Thembiso Mawema can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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ENVY supports members, shines on the dance floor