Students from all different majors put on their dancing shoes this weekend and performed for a packed audience in the Clarence Brown Theatre as a part of the BOSS Dance Company's fourth annual Spring Showcase.
BOSS was founded in 2010 by Caitlin Burke and Laura List in response to the phase-out of the dance minor because of budget cuts, according to the company's website.
The group has grown to 70 dancers, students and non-students in four years. BOSS' annual Spring Showcase is its biggest performance of the year, incorporating dances choreographed by locals, students and guests.
Students showed their support for BOSS by filling Clarence Brown Theatre and shouting out appreciation.
"Please be as vocal as possible," host McKinley Merritt, a junior in performance and musical theater, said. "This is not traditional theater where you have to sit and wait to clap. You can yell during the dances, they love it."
The audience did just that, cheering loudly and chanting dancers' names before and after each of the 16 dances, which varied from hip-hop to a more traditional style.
"I liked any of the hip-hop ones," said Alexis Jolley, a freshman majoring in interior design, "like 'Beast.' I really loved the costumes."
"Beast," choreographed by Kelley Seneker, junior in wildlife science, was one of the hip-hop dances preformed.
Another was aptly named "The First Drop," the project of three-year member and first-time choreographer Belinda Loi, a computer science major. Loi's dance consisted of a mix of music as well as a live beat-boxer.
"When the Cat's Away," choreographed by Dana Humberger, alumna and former president of BOSS, took a humorous approach. This performance told the story of a group of older people in a retirement home who broke out into energetic dance when their nurse wasn't looking. The costumes for this dance elicited quite a few laughs from the audience.
Other dances included "Werk," an upbeat tap number that defied the cliché by choosing songs one would most likely find in a club, and "Marie," choreographed by Chelsea Milligan who double majors in theater and communication studies.
Set to the song "Bang Bang," this dance tells the story of a girl forced to conform to societal norms.
Though the program stated 15 dances would be performed, the audience was treated to an extra dance near the end of the show. It was originally performed at a gala for the UT Medical Center, themed "Midnight in Paris." Fitting the theme, the group decided to prepare a Parisian can-can.
"I really liked the can-can they threw in at the end there, that was impressive," Meredith Graves, freshman in architecture, said. "I did not know that they were going to do that, so that was really neat to see how they worked so hard and pull it off."
Despite the variation in style, two features remained evident throughout the whole showcase: hard work and passion.
Jolley, who had attended to watch her friend Olivia Monroe perform, stated that her friend had been "in six dances."
"It's really cool to see how she balances dance with a major and how passionate she is about it," Jolley said.
"BOSS is a way for these dancers to still do what they love, and you can tell they love what they do," Graves said. "Everyone should come out to see them."
In a video shown during the showcase, members such as Madilynn McCollum, a senior in chemistry, talked about how BOSS helps them express themselves.
"BOSS is a place for a chemistry major, like me, to be more than just a really nerdy chemistry major," McCollum, a four year member, said. "When comes down to it, after the all the lights have been turned off and the studio door locked, BOSS Dance Company is home."
BOSS Dance Company holds auditions in the fall and offers a variety of technique classes. More information can be found on their website or on their Facebook page.