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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

SJU Irish Dance holds second annual showcase

Members+of+the+SJU+Irish+Dance+team+in+their+current+uniforms++PHOTO%3A+MITCHELL+SHIELDS+%E2%80%9922%2FTHE+HAWK
Members of the SJU Irish Dance team in their current uniforms PHOTO: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22/THE HAWK

Hip-Hop Hawks help fundraise for Irish Dance uniforms

A packed crowd watched the SJU Irish Dance club and the Hip Hop Hawks perform together at the second annual SJU Irish Dance showcase on April 12 in the Perch. The two on-campus dance clubs alternated performances, ending the night with a collaborative dance that included every member of both teams.

The purpose of the showcase was not only to entertain but also to raise funds for the SJU Irish Dance Club, an organization started by the co-presidents, Stephanie Crispell ’20 and Delaney Coppola ’20, during their first year, at St. Joe’s.

“We noticed there was an Irish culture club, but it was not as active on campus,” Coppola said. “We wanted something that we were involved in and had been doing since first grade.”

Both Crispell and Coppola danced competitively against each other before attending St. Joe’s and wanted to continue their passion of dance.

“In the beginning we started smaller, doing nursing home performances or small performances at St. Joe’s,” Crispell said. “Last year and this year our performances have really taken off.”

With 17 consistent members, the club’s growth has taken them to perform in many different competitive environments.

“We do an intercollegiate irish dance competition in the fall at Villanova University with a whole bunch of other schools that have irish dance clubs,” Crispell said. “Most of them have really nice embroidered traditional skirts.”

According to Coppola, the Villanova Irish Dance Team and other organizations who participate in the competition have been around for a lot longer than SJU Irish Dance Club.

“They have the funding and the connections, so we are just trying to get to that same level funding wise and presentation wise while we dance,” Coppola said.

The event was a fundraiser for SJU Irish Dance Club to pay for embroidered skirts, but the showcase also allowed the Hip Hop Hawks to show off their talents.

“We think it is really cool, the different styles blending together,” said Alex Vlahovic ’22, a member of the Hip Hop Hawks.

The Hip Hop Hawks was started by Taylor ’20 and Jordan Sweeney ’21 in 2018 according to the Radio 1851 MC, Nicholas Senatore ’19.

“They wanted to spread their love for dance all around campus,” Senatore said. “Their goal was to create an open, inclusive and fun space for dancers but also people who just want to learn.”

Crispell wanted to include the Hip Hop Hawks.

“We knew they had not really done a ton of performances,” Crispell said. “We thought it would be fun to use both of the dance clubs on campus and kind of bring some traditional Irish dance and hip hop together.”

Kally Pachuta ’22, a member of the Hip Hop Hawks, said she was excited to help SJU Irish Dance fundraise.

“We like being able to be a part of it so that they can bring in more people to help them raise money,” Pachuta said.

Kelly Flynn ’20, a member of the Irish dance team, said that the group will continue to fundraise through bake sales and other methods.

Flynn said, being able to wear a uniform during performances would add to their overall presentation and performance.

“A lot of traditional Irish dancers have certain dresses and skirts that they wear,” Flynn said. “So just to be more traditional in our club and showcase uniformity rather than just having a black dress.”

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