Six years ago dancers were welcomed at Chico State until the funding for the program was cut. Without an opportunity for the students to showcase their talents, the Momentum dance team was formed, giving the dancers a second chance.
The Momentum Dance team has grown significantly since its original formation, totaling 75 members of the team, with more people auditioning each year. The group of dancers’ experience levels varies, but that hasn’t stopped them from bringing on people with almost no experience at all.
The group asks for an audition fee of $25 but requires no special equipment to participate, making it one of the most affordable clubs on campus. Marketing director Shannon Hanson found the club’s growth to be attributed to its affordability.
“Most students aren’t really willing to pay a lot to be a part of a club, but our club is really affordable for everyone,” Hanson said.
While the club offers several kinds of dance ranging from novice to advanced, they don’t require their dancers to have any experience. Momentum offers the opportunity for their students to learn the style of dance they prefer and are flexible with their practice schedules which are held from 5-9 p.m.
Momentum is run by its students, who choreograph their own dances and hold their own practices. Club president Rachel Fictum has been a part of Momentum for four years and was initially surprised at how advanced the program was.
“We have our own choreographers organizing the dances, and our participation keeps growing every year. The club offers a chance to learn and improve in dance, and I think that is a really cool opportunity,” Fictum said.
Although Momentum is now growing in size it wasn’t as popular as it currently is. Fictum said that she felt fortunate to have heard about the club and walked past its table during her first year.
“I came from a studio back home, and the club was the closest thing to what I was used to back home. They were just so full of really diverse dances,” Fictum said.
Momentum offers their dancers a chance to showcase their talents toward the end of the semester, with a performance involving all its members. Because the team trains for only one performance, the pressure they feel when on the stage can be hard to overcome.
To combat the stage fright some experience, Momentum focuses on having all their students feel in sync with each other and being aptly prepared for their moment on stage.
Through their single semesterly performance, Momentum has shown that dance continues to thrive at Chico State, as long as dedicated students continue to showcase their talents on stage.
Danielle Pubill can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_sports on Twitter.