Synergy jams to tap, jazz, Jackson

The Synergy Dance Company paid homage to Michael Jackson during its annual Spring Spectacular, which was held Sunday, April 3. (Photo courtesy of Roy Villarta)

Over the course of the past two weeks, sometimes as late as 10 p.m., a group of 30-something girls gathered wherever space was available to rehearse their routines three nights a week.

Although some students were going to sleep at that time, it was when the members of the Synergy Dance Company came together to practice their dances, which were all choreographed by members of the company.

The culmination of months of practice came on Sunday, April 3 when the Synergy Spring Spectacular took the Kendall Hall Main Stage.

Several styles of dance — tap, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical and contemporary — filled the show.

Musical numbers were also incorporated, with a tap performance to “Step in Time” from Mary Poppins, complete with chimney sweeps as props and a jazz version of Chicago’s “Cell Block Tango,” during which a few male dancers joined in.

Tributes occurred throughout the recital, as the show opened with homage to Michael Jackson, a jazz number titled “The King,” in which the entire company performed together to “Billie Jean” and “Thriller.”

A 1950s tap number was choreographed by senior special education major Theresa Lombardi, who is one of three captains, because her father loves music from the ’50s, the announcer explained.

The closing number was also dedicated to a decade, as the graduating seniors took into consideration the fact that they were technically the last class to be born in the 1980s.

Complete with leg warmers and neon-off-the-shoulder T-shirts, the group began by combining aerobics with other classic, nostalgic moves associated with the ’80s, in the jazz number featuring “Love Shack” and “Eye of the Tiger.”

The show’s entirety did not all take place in other time periods; a ballet number to “Pokerface” by Lady Gaga and a hip-hop heavy performance to a compilation of Lil’ Wayne songs called “Wayne’s World” were modern music selections.

An emotionally powerful, contemporary performance to Coldplay’s “Fix You” was the vision of captain Maggie Christel, senior health and exercise science major, and began with a dissatisfied girl looking in the mirror and drawing a big, red “X.” As the performance progressed, other girls wrote “fix me” and by the end, the “X” was turned into a heart.

The show ended with all of the dancers on stage and acknowledgment of seniors, the executive board and captains, highlighting the hard work required to make the recital a reality.

While the afternoon of dance was free, the girls collected donations for multiple sclerosis.

Jamie Primeau can be reached at primeau2@tcnj.edu