Day 2 of University of Toronto St. George’s Orientation Week is underway, and excitement for the new academic year can be seen all throughout the campus. The start of the year also brings tons of opportunities to become a part of clubs and organizations and communities which spark your passions and let you become part of a community within the large on at UofT. Because of this, Her Campus is excited to feature some of the amazing clubs and organizations that make UofT the blend of passions and interests that it is. To kick off this series, we have Silhouettes Dance Company, a group of passionate dancers aimed for students who wish to continue or pursue dancing throughout their university career. In addition to the socials and open classes that they host, be sure to check out their year-end production that is bound to keep you at the edge of your seat. Interested in being apart of this club? Read on for my interview with Sandra-Marine Isautier, one of the artistic directors of Silhouettes and don’t forget to check them out at Clubs Fair Wednesday, September 6th, 3pm-7pm!
Name of organization: Silhouettes Dance Company
Year established: 2002
College/Faculty affiliation: University College
Find them on:
Answers provided by: Sandra-Marine Isautier, 4th year, Victoria College, Political Science Major
Tell me a bit about Silhouettes in a few sentences or less
Silhouettes is a group comprised of highly motivated dancers of all styles and backgrounds, wishing to continue their training throughout their University careers. Our main project is our year-end production, but we also have many others such as pub-nights, photo shoots, open classes, and social events. Our goal is to not only give students the opportunity to dance again, but also to make amazing and lasting friendships with people who share the same passion.
What made you interested in being a part of this club?
I remember wanting to continue dancing throughout university but I didn’t know what I was looking for, nor where to look. I came across Silhouettes at Clubs Day in my first year and I thought it would be great for me because it was different from anything I’d ever done. There are a lot of dance clubs/teams out there but I think it’s pretty amazing to be able to be part of a company that puts on its own show in a beautiful theatre all while being a student!
Can you tell me a bit about the commitment and practice schedules for Silhouettes? What can a student expect when joining Silhouettes?
This is a good question, we get it a lot! The commitment level is pretty much up to the dancer. Some dancers decide to do 2 numbers in the show (2 hours of rehearsal per week), others do 10 numbers. We will publish the rehearsal schedule at the beginning of the year and dancers will be able to sign up for dances that work best with their schedule. We have rehearsals on different days of the week so people always find a time that works for them! There are some mandatory meetings and dress rehearsals throughout the year, particularly during show week, but other than that, the number of dances that you do is up to the dancer.
Where else can we see Silhouettes aside from their year-end performance?
In addition to the show, we also do pub-nights, where we invite our friends to come and hang out with us. We also put together a short performance for the occasion (usually some more fun pieces).
We also do open classes at the Athletic Centre and Hart House. These classes are designed to welcome people of all levels and they are always a really fun for everybody!
What are some advantages and disadvantages of working with a large dance team?
The only “disadvantage” I can think of is making sure that you can get 50 people together at once, on time, and ready to dance, but everyone is awesome so it really isn’t much of an issue. The advantage of having a big group is that it allows you to go the extra mile. When you have a super enthusiastic group of this size it really makes you feel like you can do anything because we all have each other’s backs and we all want to put our best foot forward.
What advice would you give to students who are interested in dance, but are not sure whether they would be a good fit to be a part of a team?
Firstly, we encourage and welcome anybody who wants to audition, and we are happy to answer all the questions students have to help them determine whether Silhouettes would be a good fit. We are also happy to point people in the right direction if they share what exactly they are looking for. If they are certain that a team isn’t for them but still want to dance, we definitely recommend coming to our open classes. They are a great way to relieve stress, meet people, and learn more about the dance world. There are also a whole lot of open classes run by other dance groups at U of T, and Hart House’s drop-in schedule is great too. In summary, there are many ways to dance without committing to a “team”! U of T is an ocean of opportunities and we would gladly help anyone find an option that works for them!
What are you most excited about doing with Silhouettes this year?
This year will mark our 15th annual showcase, which is unbelievable and we have a lot of ideas to make it special! For example, we are hoping to have alumni dancers come back and put together a piece for the show, which would be great because we would love to meet and learn about the people who created this company. Another project we are working on is our formal fundraiser to celebrate 15 years of hard work and passion!
How can one get involved with Silhouettes?
We are hosting auditions on September 7th and 8th (dancers only have to attend one of the days) for people who are interested in joining the company as a full member. Auditions are run more or less like an open class: warm-up, down the floor, contemporary combo, hip hop combo, freestyle section. They are always super fun, and we hope to see many of you there!
Alternatively, for those simply seeking to attend some of our classes or other events, we recommend following our social media pages so you can stay updated!