Diversion Dance Troupe celebrates 10th year with a performance tonight

Last month the Diversion Dance Troupe celebrated its 10th anniversary on campus. The group was founded in September 1999 by Monica Jones, who wanted to create an alternative for dancers at Eastern Michigan University besides the university dance team.

For the last decade the group has been very visible on and off the campus. Throughout the year it can be seen performing at a variety of events, such as Martin Luther King Jr. week, the Delta Sigma Theta fashion show in February, pep rallies and step shows. It holds tryouts each September and hosts an annual Spring Dance Concert in April.

On Thursday, Oct. 8 it will be performing at the NAACP’s Battles of the Classes basketball game, which starts at 6:30 p.m. in the REC/IM.

The group performs a wide range of dancing styles including modern, hip-hop, lyrical and African.
According to current President Danielle McClain, the members vote on everything from music and choreography to what costumes they want to wear and which events they want to perform at.

“It’s run like a democracy,” McClain said. “We vote on everything, so basically everybody has a voice.”
The group practices three times a week, performs at a few events every month and occasionally participates in dance competitions. In addition to dancing, the group also spends a lot of time giving back to the campus and the local community.

“It is a requirement that we do a program and a community service every month,” McClain said. “Last year we [labeled] the drains around Eastern ‘No Dumping.’ We’ve gone to nursing homes and done a program called ‘Mind, Body and Soul’ where we go to a nursing home and gave massages and pedicures.”

But for the members of Diversion, the most important part of the group are the bonds that develop over the year.

“We’re all really close. It’s like a sisterhood,” McClain said.

“Being on Diversion has really enhanced my experience at EMU. It’s a good networking strategy. You meet like a lot of new students from different orgs and things just from being on it. And it also has made me a better dancer.”

While the group has already held tryouts for this semester, anyone interested can contact it at diversiondancetroupe@gmail.com to get more information about getting involved.

To become a member, you must be at least 18 years old and be enrolled as a student at EMU with a GPA above 2.5. The group is open to all cultural backgrounds and both sexes, but all members must have a background in dancing or cheer.

Any other organizations interested in having Diversion perform at their events can contact the group to get more details.

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