Modern and traditional dance groups participate in dance competition
Want to see the best dancers in Davis? Come to the Davis Dance Revolution (DDR) on Picnic Day this Saturday, April 16. DDR is an annual dance competition that features the best dance groups on campus. Since its first show in 2005, DDR is a highly anticipated and popular event on Picnic Day.
The competition includes various styles of dance, from traditional dances such as Chinese lion dancing to modern dance like hip-hop, and reflects the cultural diversity of the campus. The event is subdivided into two main categories: traditional and modern dance. Each includes seven groups and one champion is chosen from each category.
Larissa Saschin, a fourth-year clinical nutrition major, treasurer and co-president of Davis Ballet Company, started dancing ballet at the age of two. This year will be her fourth year competing in DDR and she is looking forward to it.
“DDR is absolutely amazing, I feel like it’s something from the movies. [It has] a huge audience and all of the dance clubs are amazing,” Saschin said. “There is so much excitement.”
Every performing group dedicates lots of time in preparation for this performance. As DDR is the biggest dance event hosted on campus, dance groups hope to utilize this opportunity to gain more publicity and, more importantly, to showcase their love for dancing and the strong bonds they share with their teammates.
“We never placed at DDR, but that never stop us from having fun. It’s always a goal to place, to win,” Saschin said. “But that’s not our main focus [in performing] at DDR. We do it because we love to dance.”
Emily Collins, a third-year biological sciences major, is one of the three directors from Agape, a Christian contemporary dance group, and sees DDR as a stage to inspire people to love and live a fulfilled and happy life.
“This year we just really hope that people can see the love that we share with each other out on stage and take that and apply it to their own lives,” Collins said. “That’s the theme for all of our performances — it gives someone hope and gives someone a feeling of love.”
Catherine Nivera, a fourth-year design major and public relations officer of Davis Wushu, hopes to promote Wushu, a form of martial arts originating in China, through DDR.
“I think Wushu is a really powerful sport. You can learn things that are really amazing. You can learn to jump really high and you can learn how to wield a sword. It’s also really graceful because of the ways you move. It’s about performance, and not about fighting,” Nivera said.
For this event, Davis Wushu incorporates dance elements into its performance.
“Because it’s from a dance perspective, we are able to be looser in our interpretations of Wushu,” Nivera said, “Dance choreography is more about movements and feelings, we can add more personality to our movements.”
For Minji Lee, a fourth-year psychology major from Golden Turtle Lion Dance Association, the competition has a special meaning. She attended DDR her first year at Davis and even though she had no previous knowledge about lion dancing — a form of dance that originated in China and other Asian countries — she was amazed by the astonishing performance of Golden Turtle Lion Dance Association and was determined to be one of them.
“For me, one of the biggest reasons that I want to do DDR is that it is an important event to me and is how I learned about lion dancing,” Lee said.
Lee played cymbal for previous years’ DDR. This year, she will be the head of a lion for the first time and is both excited and nervous for this performance.
“Since we started competing in DDR, lion dancing has always placed in [the] top three, so I feel like there’s pressure on me to do well. But I am mostly really excited because I always [wanted] to be part of DDR,” Lee said.
DDR will be held at the Pavilion at 6:30 p.m. this Saturday. Presale tickets are $14 for UC Davis students and $16 for general admission. Tickets can also be purchased at the door, $16 for UC Davis students and $21 for general admission. For more information about DDR, check the event’s Facebook page.
WRITTEN BY: Betty Wu – firstname.lastname@example.org