For dance lovers, New York City is a haven. Lincoln Center and the Joyce Theater are just a ride on the 1 train away, but if you’re dying to shake your tail feathers, look no further than Columbia’s dance organizations. Our University has a reputation for its acclaimed artists, and we’ve had our fair share of onstage starlets, including Twyla Tharp and Alicia Graf Mack. So it’s no wonder that, from classical ballet to hip-hop to ballroom, there’s something here for every dancer, no matter their level or specialty. All of these groups will hold auditions in the first weeks of the semester.
Columbia Ballet Collaborative
Established in 2007, Columbia Ballet Collaborative is a student-run ballet company whose primary purpose is to give student dancers a venue to rehearse and perform in contemporary ballet works. The organization has hosted up-and-coming choreographers like Emery Lecrone and Justin Peck while also giving Columbia undergraduates the opportunity to set pieces on their peers. Though CBC commissions new repertoire for its biannual show, it also performs neoclassical ballets by George Balanchine and others
For Garba-Raas Indian dancing, look no further than Columbia Raas. Columbia’s high-energy Indian dance team celebrates Eastern culture on campus while performing the Garba-Raas style with skill and spirit. Though the organization often gives demonstrations on campus at events like Lunar Gala, its members also attend competitions around the country during the academic year.
Orchesis is Columbia’s largest dance group, and is home to a wide variety of forms of movement, from modern to jazz to African dance. The organization tries to foster an inclusive environment, and everyone who auditions for its biannual showcase is guaranteed a role in at least one piece. Orchesis also provides a safe space for students to experiment with choreography, as the repertoire for performance is conceived and directed by the Columbia community.
If you love to pop and lock, Raw Elementz may be your dance haven on campus. As Columbia’s largest hip-hop crew, Raw Elementz combines a diverse group of dancers as they collaborate on student choreography for performances at large campus events like Glass House Rocks and Lunar Gala. And in the spring, the troupe’s showcase, Rawcus, is always a crowd-pleaser.
Sabor is Columbia’s first Latino dance troupe and brings sizzle to campus with steaming-hot merengues, salsas, bachatas, and more. Its dancers perform at events like Glass House Rocks to show off their intricate moves, and every year, Sabor hosts its own show in Roone Arledge Auditorium. Aside from performances, Sabor is not only committed to interacting with the Columbia community, but also tries to form a relationship with the surrounding area through its high school program, Relevé.