Alli Gamad has danced recreationally since she was 2 years old, and competitively since she was 7 years old. She has learned many different dance styles including jazz, tap, ballet and lyrical.
“I’ve danced my whole life,” she said. “That is the one thing that gets me out of bed.”
Gamad, a junior studying management communication, created the dance club OU Vibrations because she missed having dance in her life, after she left the studio when she came to college. OU Vibrations allows students to form friendships with people who are reconnecting with dance.
She said the 2017-18 academic year was OU Vibrations first full year. It has two separate components: recreational classes and a performance group.
Anyone can try out the recreational classes because they are meant to be more laid back, she said. It’s OK if members can only attend meetings some weeks because each class teaches a new piece or other activities such as conditioning and yoga.
“When you’re feeling down, I think it’s a good way to be able to just share your emotions,” Stephanie Malov, a junior studying psychology and pre-physical therapy, said.
The dance club meets every Wednesday, and the first two practices of the month are dedicated to learning a choreographed piece, Gamad said. Any member can propose an idea to her, and the group might learn a different style of dance each week.
Other dance clubs on campus focus on one kind of dance, but OU Vibrations members want to learn a bit of everything, Gamad said.
Monica Bollinger, a junior studying language arts education, said the group recently learned a hip-hop dance that used the song “1, 2 Step” by Ciara. The difficulty of the choreographed pieces can range, she said.
OU Vibration’s performance group has more than a dozen women who perform various styles of dance in a performance each semester, Gamad said. The last show had eight dance pieces in which groups, duos and individual members showed their moves to an audience of friends and family.
Bollinger said she danced in the spring performance with a large group during a jazz song and with a trio of dancers to “Feel It Still” by Portugal. The Man. She went to a dance studio from 7 years old through high school, but she appreciates that dance can be a hobby now.
“It’s always been an extreme part of my life,” Bollinger said. “Before (joining OU Vibrations), it was like a sport for me.”
In OU Vibrations, students just come for dancing and end up making great friendships, she said. The members have done a few activities that didn’t involve choreography or music, including canvas painting, and she wants to see that continue.
“We all came together because we’re all passionate about dance, but we have more than that now,” Gamad said. “I’ve gotten to watch people connect and build friendships and find their place.”