The Ballet Performance Group’s name can be quite misleading. The term “ballet” often evokes thoughts of tutus, highly formalized steps and classical music, but UR’s BPG offers so much more. Members of this group perform non-traditional routines to popular songs, such as Missy Elliot’s “Lose Control” and “Mr. Bright Side” by the Killers. Both dance aficionados as well as those who usually shy away from traditional ballet should not miss their upcoming show, “Don’t You Wanna Dance!”

This innovative group is comprised of UR students who apply ballet technique and discipline to jazz, tap, hip-hop, ballet, lyrical and even modern pieces. Every year BPG dazzles the University community with semi-annual performances in addition to some smaller events. This year, the dancers have already performed in the Activities Fair, Uncommon Night, Meliora Weekend’s Rochester Revue and Dance Cubed.

BPG was founded in 1996 by a group of girls who were unsatisfied with the ballet classes offered on campus. Since then, the group has expanded both in size and musical repertoire. This semester, membership reached its highest number ever at 54. And, for the first time, BPG is including modern dance pieces in its program. Despite this growth, the group continues to be entirely student run. Members choose the music, organize the choreography and teach the routines themselves.

BPG is more than a club. It is like a family – a community of dancers united by their mutual love for the art form. Members’ participation in BPG-run social activities further strengthens their sense of camaraderie. This closeness is beneficial in many ways because “Once you know each other better, you dance better together, and it makes for a more fun environment,” BPG President and senior Taylor Coon said.

Despite the tightly knit nature of the group, BPG has remained very accepting of new members. There are no tryouts, and prior dance experience is not required.

“We would want anyone who wants to join to be able to,” Coon said. “We have girls who have never danced before and we have girls who have been dancing since they were two.”

At the beginning of each semester, members choose which pieces they want to perform in the final show. Each piece varies in difficulty and requires only one hour of practice time per week. Participants can, therefore, be as involved as they want. At least until the week before a performance, a time commonly referred to as “Hell Week.” As freshman BPG member Liz Lane can attest, this is when “we practice insane amounts,” usually exceeding 20 hours.

Come see the dancers’ hard work all pay off at their upcoming show. “Don’t You Wanna Dance!” promises to be visually stunning, eclectic and innovative. Musical numbers include contemporary hits such as Christina Aguilara’s “Ain’t No Other Man,” “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls, “Scream” by Michael Jackson and “Magic” by Ben Folds Five. Experience the brilliance for yourself on Friday, Dec. 8, in Upper Strong Auditorium at 8 p.m. Tickets are $4 at Common Market or at the door.

Tulkoff is a member of the class of 2010.

UR Baseball beats Hamilton and RIT

Yellowjackets baseball beat Hamilton College on Tuesday and RIT on Friday to the scores of 11–4 and 7–4, respectively.

Colin’s Review Rundown: Future and Metro Boomin, Lizzy McAlpine, Benson Boone, Civerous

Is it bad? Definitely not! But I found myself continually checking my phone to see how many tracks were left.

An open letter to all members of any university community

I strongly oppose the proposed divestment resolution. This resolution is nothing more than another ugly manifestation of antisemitism at the University.