Boston College Irish Dance has recently been making waves around campus. After a killer ALC Showdown performance, BCID is recognized as one of the hottest dance teams on campus. Founded in 2006, the club consists of 30 members who have danced or are still dancing competitively at the local, national, and even international level. BCID performs at a variety of events, both on and off campus, including Relay for Life and Arts Fest. This Friday, April 12, BCID will be performing in its annual spring showcase, “StrIDe”, at 7 pm in Robsham Theater. Read on to learn about the club’s co-captains, seniors Brianne Marron and Elizabeth Woods.
How long have you been dancing and why did you join BCID?
Brianne: I started dancing with the Petri School in New York when I was five-years old and competed up through my senior year of high school. I joined BCID when I was a freshman because one of the founders, Eileen Cobos, had gone to the Petri with me and said it was a lot of fun. I didn’t want to compete anymore in college but also knew that I loved dancing too much to stop. This seemed like the perfect way to get involved, meet new people, and still have a creative/ performance based outlet without the stress of competition.
Liz: I started when I was three but stopped competing when I came to college. I didn’t even know there was a dance team at BC until I stumbled upon the table at Student Activities Day. I originally was going to play club soccer but figured the O’Connell House was much closer to Gonzaga than Newton so the decision was made.
What is your favorite part/memory of BCID?
Brianne: My favorite memory of BCID is pretty recent actually. The rush of performing on stage at Showdown this year was unreal – as was the positive feedback that we got from the audience members and have continued to get throughout the week. I am so proud of us all!
Liz: There are honestly way too many memories to have a favorite. I think that the best part about BCID is the close friendships you make with all of the dancers on the team. It’s like one big family.
How do you come up with your dances?
Brianne: This is something I get asked all of the time and never really know how to answer. My inspiration comes from a lot of different places- old steps or tricks my dance teachers used to use, other styles of dance, and music videos- just to name a few. The song itself also has a big impact on the choreography because a really rhythmic song will generally lend itself to a hard shoe dance and the beats of the music will influence the beats of the steps I use. The mood of a song will influence whether or not I keep it very traditional, make it a little more light and fun, or, something we love to do, “make it sassy”.
Liz: The first dance I choreographed was a 16-hand because I always loved being in figures when I was competing. Then again, I also love Zumba, so that made its way into one of the choreographies from last year. It really just depends on what I find interesting around the time I’m choreographing.
What makes BCID different from other dance groups at BC?
Brianne: BCID is different than other groups on campus because we require that all of our members have previous experience in order to join because it is an incredibly technical style of dance. We naturally stand out because of how strange it is that we basically let our feet do all the work and we are known for our synchronized movement and rhythm.
Liz: It’s pretty obvious that Irish dance has a very particular style. We have a very military-esque posture that allows for us to have the lines and the circles look so impressive when we dance in such big groups. However, I’d argue that our cohesiveness as a group both on- and off-stage is what sets us apart from other dance teams.
Tell us about your upcoming showcase, “StrIDe”… Any surprises?
Brianne: There are definitely some surprises in store for our audience this year! In preparing for “StrIDe” we have really worked to push the boundaries and make our show bigger and better than ever. We’ve got a few props this year, which we have not used before, as well as guest performances from F.I.S.T.S. and Masti! There’s a little something for everyone and we can’t wait for everyone to see!
Liz: “StrIDe” is like our Showdown routine times 20. If you liked what you saw the other night, you definitely won’t be disappointed by “StrIDe”. If you are a returning audience member, you will definitely be surprised by some of the stuff we came up with this year!
What is the process like preparing for your show?
Brianne: Preparing for this show is a year long process- we perform consistently throughout the year but our spring showcase is definitely our main focus. We try and make sure we balance our traditional and contemporary music so that we can appeal to all audience members and have 20 numbers we have choreographed specifically for this performance. Beyond the dances themselves we also chose our own costumes and work closely with the Robsham staff to book our show dates and develop lighting for each dance.
Liz: Preparing for “StrIDe” has been a yearlong endeavor. Over the summer, Brianne and I were already making arrangements and we have been going nonstop up until now. However, we also have to recognize the work of all of the dancers, who have been very dedicated to their practices all year. The show couldn’t go on without them, so we really do appreciate their commitment to the club.
As you are both graduating this May, what do you want to be your legacy with BCID?
Brianne: Don’t remind me— I don’t want to leave! Liz and I have worked very hard to expand our involvement on and off campus and to promote lasting friendships among our team members. If nothing else, I hope we inspire future leaders of the clubs to continue team bonding and to continue to push the club to take risks and to perform in new venues!
Liz: I must say that joining BCID was one of the best decisions I made at BC. I met my closest friends on the team and I couldn’t imagine my college experience without it. That being said, I hope that BCID will remain the sorority I have made it become. May the gang sign and buddy system live on!
Can we expect to see those sweet circles anytime soon around campus?
Brianne: Haha who new multiplying circles would be such a hit! All I’m saying is that we are never circle-shy in our choreographies. Guess you will have to buy your ticket to “StrIDe” and find out….
Liz: Definitely! Don’t forget to get your tickets to “StrIDe”!