Encore is a hip hop student run company here on campus. In a normal year they perform at bar nights, other company shows as guest performers, and Dance Mix. Bar nights are exactly what they sound like. The company performs a set at a bar and asks other companies, traditionally hip hop companies to perform at the bar night as well. A set is a dance that is about ten minutes long and is curated of about six choreographed dances, essentially it is like a music mash-up but for dance. This year their company, like many others have operated differently. I was able to meet with one of the presidents, Dana Dean, and ask her how Encore has been affected and how they have preserved.
I know that Dance Mix is still occurring this year, it is just looking a little different, so keep your eyes open for that wonderful performance!
“Covid has impacted EnCore in many ways. On the negative side, we haven’t been able to have performances or practices as often as normal, which I believe has made it harder to bond as a team. Late night practices at the P-Wall are an experience unlike any other at michigan, and we miss it so much! However, despite the hardships we have faced, we have still been able to gain new members this year and dance over zoom. Trying out new things has been a great challenge for all of us on EnCore and has made us cherish the time we spend together.”
“Even though we have not had performances, we have been meeting weekly and learning dances that members of the team have created. And on an exciting note, we will be contributing to a filmed dance video put together by DanceMix that will be out by the end of the semester! If you would like to see some choreography our members have created this year, you can find some on our Instagram! “
“The biggest struggle we have had to overcome is making sure we are catering to all our members’ needs. We have been working hard to find a happy medium of doing business as usual while still following the university’s safety guidelines. At times, being on the executive board of EnCore has been a bit challenging as we want to do our best to make EnCore feel like it normally does but have to keep in mind the dangers of coming together during the pandemic.”
“I do believe that EnCore has persevered through the pandemic. As I said previously, we held auditions both in the fall and winter and got some talented new members!! In addition, all of our members have been contributing to teaching and learning choreography. I may be graduating this spring, but I am confident that EnCore will continue to be the amazing team it has been during my time at Michigan.”
“I do think that dance has changed as a whole. In a pandemic, dancers all across campus and the nation have had to adapt. While nothing compares to performing alongside your teammates in front of a large audience, having virtual classes via platforms like Zoom has been really beneficial. I also think that the pandemic will provide opportunities to change the way we think of a typical dance performance, and may make them more accessible to people all over the globe in the future!”