In April of 2015, UNH senior and Alter Ego Dance Crew President Michelle Zhu, from Shanghai, China, inquired through the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) if any students would be interested in forming a dance crew. She was surprised at the overwhelmingly positive response she received from fellow students, and thus the dance crew, Alter Ego Crew, was born.
When it was first conceived, the crew focused on a broad range of traditional and modern dance styles. Today, nearly two years later, they perform these traditional styles of dance such as Indian, traditional Chinese, ballroom and belly dance. Soon after, Korean Pop (K-Pop) was added.
The musical genre K-Pop originated in South Korea and incorporates a wide range of genres of pop music including electropop, rock, hip-hop and R&B.
“We do K-pop dance… because it’s easier for beginners to learn,” Zhu said. “When I was taking Theatre Dance I, our professor said, ‘[if] you can walk, you can dance.’”
According to Zhu, the crew is very open to teaching students with any level of dance ability. Currently Alter Ego Crew has around 20 members, both male and female. Zhu states that all are welcome in this dance crew, no matter one’s race, gender or background in dance.
“We [are] just a group of people who love dance and love to dance together,” Zhu said.
Alter Ego Crew practices about once a week, but recently the members have been rehearsing more often in preparation for their upcoming showcase on Sunday, April 9. The showcase will feature around 20 dance numbers as well as a musical instrument number.
According to Zhu, in addition to their main focus of K-pop, the showcase will celebrate many different cultures through dance. Numbers will include “The Plucking,” a Chinese dance performed to ancient Chinese poetry, “Jai Ho!,” an Indian dance performed to a song featured in “Slumdog Millionaire,” and “Who Run The World (Girls)” so as to to show girls’ power from the UNH community to the whole world, according to Zhu.
Tickets to their showcase are free and can be obtained on the UNH Alter Ego Crew Facebook page or Eventbrite.com. The show will start at 6:30 p.m. in the Johnson Theatre. Audience members who come to the show with a ticket will receive a giveaway bag and a raffle ticket to win a larger gift.
More information about Alter Ego Crew can be found on their Facebook or Instagram page, or by contacting their email, email@example.com. If you are interested in joining Alter Ego Crew, all are welcome. The crew also holds dance workshops at the Cottages of Durham sporadically.
“As long as you are fond of dance… you are a dancer,” Zhu said. “We [are] named Alter Ego [Crew] because… [on] the outside we are just students, but [on] the inside we are dancers.”