It's without a doubt that whenever I see my friends on the Flava team at a party they're the best dancers there; they put everyone else to shame. Since everyone knows that these dancers are incredible, I had to sit in on a practice with the team itself to see what Flava's all about.
@fordhamflava via Instagram
The second I walked through the door I was greeted with ten huge smiles and warm welcomes. Their energy wasn't lacking in the slightest even though they had practiced for three hours the night before and had already danced for a half hour before I arrived. This team is no joke; they practice four times a week, starting at 7 PM and ending at whatever time they deem necessary, which ranges from 9:30 PM to midnight (if a performance is approaching).
After giving big Flava hugs, they didn't waste any time and got right to rehearsing their cafeteria performance. I'm glad I got to see them rehearse the routine about ten times because there was so much that I couldn't pay attention to it all in one run-through.
The first thing I noticed was my bopping away to the songs they chose for their mix, which starts off with one of my favorites from Cardi B. Each song snippet transitioned the to next one so smoothly that I was surprised they didn't download it from the internet; the dancers chose the songs and made the mix themselves.
@natattackz_ via Instagram
What stood out the most was the incredible dancing. All members get to choreograph as a group, which adds a sense of togetherness that's so refreshing. They took turns watching the rest of the group rehearse in order to make improvements in the dance. They would also bounce ideas off each other to fix any problems they ran into. Never were the dancers impatient to one another; support and empowerment are at the core of this team.
Something that I admire so much about Flava is that it's completely student-run. Most clubs (and all sports teams) on campus involve an adult leader, such as a coach or professor. Yet, Flava stands out because the group members themselves are behind the amazing performances they put together.
It also struck me how the team can be so goofy and relaxed while in between run-throughs. You could tell they take dancing seriously because even though they would joke as they took their places on the dancefloor, as soon as the music started, their faces and bodies turned serious. It's so nice that they make time to be themselves and to blow off some steam in the midst of all Flava comes with; Flava definitely seems like a good, healthy way to de-stress after a long day at school.
@fordhamflava via Instagram
Before I left, the dancers were nice enough to take some time out of their rehearsal to answer some questions I had. The members have past experience with dancing, which only, unfortunately, confirms that I could never be on the team. Some of the dancers also said that they have some interest in dance in the future. The team's pre-show ritual includes putting their hands together and tossing them in the air while yelling, "squad up!"
I couldn't get a straight answer when I finally asked them about their favorite part or memory from Flava. Alyssa and Manee had a blast creating the concept video last semester. Hannah loves seeing her teammates out at a party and dancing together. Jeffrey adores Flava formals, and Caroline treasures the camaraderie of the group. Surprisingly, Olivia said that hell week is a memorable time because of all the mayhem they have to endure as a team during the days leading up to a performance.
If one thing's for sure, this team knows how to dedicate themselves to such an expressive art form, all while managing work and school simultaneously and making time for laughs with their friends along the way.
selfie taken by me
I'd like to thank the one-and-only Flava dance group for the sneak peek at your rehearsal! Current group members include: Caroline (Red) Holtz '20, Elizabeth (Dids) Beck '20, Lauren (Chach) Chen '20, Natalie (Nat) Martinez '19, Juliet (Tye) Dooz '19, Olivia (Liv) Cancellieri '19, Alyssa (Lyss) Iocco '21, Hannah (Han) Gammond '21, Samantha (Sam) Tarry '21, Manee Grewal '21, and Jeffrey Pelayo '21.
@fordhamflava via Instagram stories