Name: Alyssa McHugh
Year in School: Senior
Major: Public Relations and Advertising
Dream Job: Communication for a Health and Fitness Company
Hometown: Rockford, IL
Other Involvements on Campus: Chi Omega Fraternity, CHAARG
Any Special Talents? I used to have a blog that I kept up for about two years, but then I just never found the time anymore. It was a fashion blog, but I think if I were to get back into it that I would write about fitness because that’s what I am more into now, especially with Ignite.
What does your dance background include and what are your favorite styles of dancing? I was with a competitive dance company for all of high school and some of middle school where I tried about every form of dance. I did Irish dancing, ballet, jazz, open, tap, contemporary, lyrical, everything. My favorites are definitely jazz and hip-hop. I started dancing when I was three or four and now I’m 21. I started competitively dancing in about eighth grade.
Why did you start Ignite? I had competed in the past and coming to college and doing recreational dance or fitness classes at the Ray just wasn’t cutting it. I was just so used to being at dance five days a week for, like, five hours.
What styles of dance does Ignite do? Ignite does jazz, hip hop, contemporary, and lyrical. All nine of the girls have some sort of competitive background with either a dance team or a dance company.
Why Ignite? To me at least, to be competitive is a much bigger time commitment and you’re preforming more and you need to be a little bit more dedicated. So I guess ignite was a good word to spark that emotion so I was trying to think along those lines about starting something new, about lighting a fire, and dancing with a lot of passion. I also liked how it sounded!
What makes Ignite different than other dance groups on campus? There are actually only nine girls, and we weren’t looking to teach dance as much as improve and grow into stronger dancers as opposed to teaching the basics. We wanted to make sure that all of the girls had a background and understood what we were looking for and were on the same page as far as improving and keeping that going during college. So, not a lot of girls, but they’re all very well-rounded, they all know all the styles and the time requirements (5-12 hours a week), and have the discipline that we were looking for.
What is your favorite thing about starting Ignite? The fact that we are so small and the friendships I was able to develop with the team. Our motto is “To Embody Confidence Inside and Out” and that relates to the passion we share for dance but also to make sure that the girls within the company have great opportunities within dance or anything else so that when they do graduate they will all have guidance and networking and the confidence to go and get those internships and everything that goes with graduating and growing up.
When should we look out to see Ignite in the future? We’re going to have a spring recital here on campus before our competition in May. We started rehearsals in the first week of October and it’ll go into the end of the school year.
Where are you most likely to be found on campus? Brownstones or the third floor studio in the Ray!