The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

New dance ensemble seeking contemporaries

By Gavin Gardon

This year, Deshaun Peters ’14 took the initiative to start a new dance group, Industry, which focuses on a style very different from the other ensembles already established at Grinnell. This style is “contemporary” and mainly combines the freedom and expression of hip-hop and the form and control of ballet. Peters felt inspired to combine the two forms from a dance video he watched.

“tWitch, he’s a hip-hop dancer, and he was dancing with his fiancée, who was a ballerina. The melody of those two styles interested me and I was interested in exploring that and seeing how [ballet] matches up with hip-hop,” Peters said.

He also mentioned how his involvement with the Latin American ensemble has inspired him to bring in elements of that genre of music and dance.

According to Peters, Industry is filling a demand that has long been felt at Grinnell.

“There’s always been a buzz around campus about people wanting to start a contemporary dance group. I’ve always heard that in my time at Grinnell,” he said. “[Since] I started getting everything together, there’s been a lot of people coming to me very interested in the group and very excited something like this is happening.”

Peters has had a long history with dance and has practiced both hip-hop and ballet, as well as musical theatre. Since coming to Grinnell, he has been involved with musical theatre and dance ensembles including jazz, ballet and modern.

Sharon Tan ’14, a member of the club, does not have as much experience with dance, but matches Peters in enthusiasm. This dance group will focus on the style that most interests Tan.

“I like to dance, but there aren’t many outlets for doing the dancing I want to do,” she said.

When discussing his vision for Industry, other than just getting it off the ground, Peters said he would especially like for women to join. One characteristic of contemporary dancing he wants to capitalize on is giving women a more active role as leads.

“In other types of dancing, the typical view that dance has [is] the women are on display for the guys and for others,” he said.
Peters hopes to challenge this notion.

As Industry gets on its feet, anyone is invited to join. There is a short audition to see how an individual dances and what their style is like, in order to properly assign a choreographic role. Anyone interested in joining can send an email to [Industry] to set up an audition.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *