Last Sunday, April 17, I attended the Royals Dance Team’s spring showcase, “Mosaic.” I had previously attended their fall showcase as a part of UR Habitat for Humanity’s co-sponsorship. It was a fun show — it’s where I first heard the song “Maneater” by Nelly Furtado, which I can’t believe I was missing out on for over a decade, so it felt only natural to go again when I heard about their spring show.
“Mosaic” was held in the Spurrier Dance Studio, and the team had thankfully printed out signs to guide people downstairs to the correct location. While I sat somewhat awkwardly by myself, I noticed the crowd was mostly parents and what I’d assume were the friends of the 17 dancers on the team. The show began with all the dancers in pastel tops arranged in a mosaic pattern, reminiscent of their show poster. They broke out into a dance to “Freakum Dress” by Beyoncé while the crowd silently watched and applauded at the end.
We were then greeted by one of the executive board members, senior Liz Yarnall, who told us how Royals grew from only a few members at the beginning of the year to the current and impressive total of 17. She and all the other seniors on the team have been a part of Royals since their first year and were initially worried about the group surviving, but now they feel they are leaving the team in good hands. She also relayed a message from the Royals Dance Captain, Kathy Serna, who wanted to remind everyone to please cheer for the dancers during the performances, because it is incredibly awkward to dance to a silent crowd. This was my one criticism of the show: the music was almost never loud enough, at least for the audience. I don’t know what the sound situation is like in the dance studio, but it felt like the music was concentrated over the dancers and not the audience, which made it harder to get completely immersed in the performances.
After that announcement, however, the energy and excitement grew as the audience got more involved. As a non-dancer, my best guess would be that their dance style would be categorized as “contemporary.” Some dances included the team’s characteristic black pom-poms, and the gymnastics performed during “Applause” by Lady Gaga makes me assume many of the dancers have cheer backgrounds. There were 11 dances total, featuring a mix of early 2000s throwbacks, some mid-2010s songs like “Into You” by Ariana Grande, and some more recent ones such as “La Difícil” by Bad Bunny. The six seniors brought back “Maneater” by Nelly Furtado for their senior dance, and the whole team finished off the show with a performance to “Level Up” by Ciara.
Overall, I enjoyed the show with all the outfit changes, fun songs, and well-choreographed dancing. I’m excited to see what they do next year! I can promise if there’s more early 2000s throwbacks, I’ll be there.