Dance is often its own language.
It can tell stories that audiences can relate to and preserve cultures that may have faded from view.
The Philadelphia Dance Company, also known as Philadanco, embraces these aspects of dance in the group's performances.
This was seen Monday as Philadanco performed a four part show at the Clarence Brown Theatre. The event was sponsored by the Black Cultural Programming Committee and Multicultural Student Life.
Philadanco was founded in 1970 by Joan Myers Brown and is a nonprofit organization that works to strengthen the skills of dancers and choreographers and increase appreciation for dance, according to its website.
Its inception was inspired by the need for a school for black dancers who were denied entry to other dance schools.
They are also known for their creativity, well-trained dancers and preservation of African-American style dance. Their mission is to teach youth leadership and development skills to help them succeed in both dance and everyday life.
The first of the four 20-minute dances was "By The Way of Funk," featuring glittering costumes and several solo dances choreographed to upbeat funk music.
"My favorite dance was the first dance," Stacey Rooks, junior in child and family studies, said. "It was really entertaining and had a really good beat."
The second was titled "Gate Keepers," a dance involving many partner solos as well as group choreography.
After intermission, "Moan" was performed. This third section was made up of different dances incorporating real life situations. In one instance, a woman was depicted dancing for money, and another told the story of a broken marriage.
Darrisha Triplet, a student at Austin East High School, named "Moan" as her favorite piece at the event.
"The partnership was amazing," Triplet said.
The last dance was entitled "Enemy Behind the Gates." For this, the dancers wore costumes that resembled military jackets and danced mostly in pairs or as a group.
"I liked the last one the best," said Natasha Wicker, freshman in the Arts and Sciences. "The different styles of music and dance they put together was really cool. It was elegant."
Rooks, a member of the Black Cultural Programming Committee, said the Philadelphia Dance Company shows their love for dance through their performances.
"The Philadelphia Dance Company is really, really good," Rooks said. "They have a passion for dance, and you can see it in what they do."
The Black Cultural Programing Committee is sponsoring more events this semester, including "A Night of Comedy" on Nov. 8. This will feature comedian Gary Owen from "Think Like A Man," as well as Robert Powell and Gene Harding, according to the event program.
A homecoming package will be sold to UT students for $15 until Oct. 18, including tickets for both the comedy event and Stomp Fest.
More information on upcoming events hosted by the Black Cultural Programming Committee can be found on its website, multicultural.utk.edu/bcpc/index.php. Further information on the Philadelphia Dance Company and their program can be found on their website or Facebook page.