Unified Dance Crew Bounces Back from Low Numbers

By Abagail Chambers

The Unified Dance Crew at The University of Tampa hosted auditions for their Hip-Hop inspired dance team for the 2021-2022 season. Although Unified has grown over the past few years, the impact of COVID-19 has decreased their membership quantity last season.

“With COVID-19, it’s been hard getting our performances back on track but we are trying really hard,” said Milan Ramos, President of Unified Dance Crew.

The Unified Dance Crew held auditions on Friday, Sept.10th, beginning at 6:00pm in Falk Theatre in hopes of returning to a full team of 23 members. 

At auditions, the numbers in membership went back up and they had a total of 50 students turn out to the event.

“I am so excited to create, lead, and have fun with the best crew during my last year at UT!” said Milan Ramos, President of Unified Dance Crew. “This season we looked for dedication and true talent, auditions had an amazing turn out and it was difficult to narrow the team down to 23 members.” 

Although skill level will be evaluated, dancers who may be new to Hip-Hip were encouraged to audition as well. 

“In the 2020-2021 school year we had a smaller audition selection but we geared our practice structure towards creating a foundation for those who had minimal experience,” said Ramos.“We intend to grow by showing the university the extreme talent on our team. We participate in on and off campus shows that really emphasises our skill level.”

Last May, Unified hosted their second annual showcase. The Unified Showcase took place at Falk Theatre where all members of the team performed and displayed their talent.  

“We started doing on and off campus shows which led to us competing around the Tampa Bay area,” said Anthony Nicolo, founder of Unified Dance Crew. 

Each year, Unified Dance Crew participates in Midnight Madness where they can showcase one routine. They also work alongside other organizations to volunteer in the Tampa Bay community.

“I’m excited to collectively advance with the team through our love of dance and share my creative movements with the crew.” said Lea Crigger, choreography captain for Unified Dance Crew. 

Unified Dance Crew typically practices from 4:30p.m.-6:30p.m. on Fridays and from 10:00a.m.-12:30p.m. on Saturdays. Each year the team works on choreography, skills, and performance quality to prepare for the Unified Showcase at the end of the spring semester. 

“I picture the future of Unified Dance Crew only growing more and more. We have come so far as an organization and I can’t wait to see what we accomplish in the future,” said Ramos. 

Photo Courtesy of Unified’s Instagram account.

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