Second Year Science Student Aisling takes a look at what it means to get ready for Intervarsities with UCD Dance Society

Feet aching, arms burning, legs and bum screaming at you to just RELAX. But there is no time to relax when Inters is only a week away. Dance Intervarsities (more commonly known as Inters) is the holy grail for UCD Dancesoc each year. Second trimester is an intense step up for our dancers as weeks of choreographing, teaching, drilling, and cleaning come into play in an attempt to claim gold at this fantastic competition.

Taking place on March 7th, hosted by DIT, our three competitive crews (Irish Dance, Fusion – who do both Contemporary and Jazz – and Hip Hop) will travel to the National Stadium in the city centre to perform for judges and supporters and to show off their hard work. UCD had great success last year in the Cork Opera House with 3 out of 5 category wins – Contemporary, Jazz and Mixed Piece, the latter of which got us all free tickets to Electric Picnic where we also performed!

UCD Dance celebrating winning 1st place in the Mixed Piece category at the 2018 Intervarsities in Cork

This year we intend to go in stronger still. Our three formidable crews, with the help of their managers and choreographers (who take time out of their busy college schedules to create incredible and intricate pieces of dance, mind you!) are currently getting into game mode. Hip Hop’s Sarah and Matt are examining our music and creating smooth transitions between each different style of dance, which is not an easy task. Fusion’s Zoë has a difficult task managing the crew alone, as jazz choreographer Ellen had to hastily teach her piece before rushing off on Erasmus! Hard-working and super fit fusion would never let that deter them though. All the while, Irish Dance’s Brónagh and Caitlin have factored some special elements into their piece, adding an extra layer of creativity!

UCD Hip Hop Crew 2018/2019

Dancesoc is in its 8th session, and this year we have 43 dancers across our performance crews: 15 on Irish Dance, 15 on Hip Hop and 13 on Fusion. Crews have been training for a combined amount of 13 hours a week since rehearsals began back in October. Behind the scenes though, the crew members act as teachers each week for our open classes – crew is a big commitment! It is a massive responsibility, as you owe it to your managers to be present at every rehearsal, otherwise, they can’t play around with formations and transitions for their pieces. On top of that, support for the society as a whole is crucial – being outside of the library for the ultimate ritual of “postering” on occasional Thursdays at 7.30 am is mandatory! Postering, for those who don’t know, happens on the library concourse every Thursday. Various society members race to reserve a spot for their posters promoting whatever events they have going on the following week. Come hail, rain or shine, you will find us there to push crew auditions, nights out, workshops or showcases. To those who know me, my own Instagram and Facebook pages are covered in shared Dancesoc posts…a must-do to avoid an onslaught of being called out by our social media officers!

Irish Dancers lined up and ready to go

As D-Day draws nearer, our Irish dancers and tearing up the floors with their hard shoes. Our Fusion girls are perfecting their pirouettes and jetes. Hip-hop are practicing their sassy faces in the mirrors. The next two weeks require picking apart the pieces created with a fine tooth comb and making everything as uniform and clean as possible. Crew jumpers and t-shirts have arrived, our costumes and props are almost together. We are rehearsing the entire weekend before the competition to make sure everything is in ship shape.

UCD Fusion Crew 2018/2019

The competition being in Dublin this year is a great way for us to have as many supporters as possible. Hearing cheers and encouragement from the crowd is a huge boost for any group of performers. Tickets are only €5 and can be bought at the event on the day.

Sionnáin Greene, our extremely hard-working auditor says:

“We can’t wait to kill it on the inters stage and show everyone what we’re made of.”

And she is dead right. Although tensions can run high when the pressure builds to perfect a piece, the motivation and dedication to give it our all are the underlying principles for what we do and why we do it. Regardless of the outcome next week, the sore muscles and aching joints will all be worth it, because UCD Dance leaves everything on the stage.


UCD Dancers at Perform Ireland in the RDS

You can find UCD Dance on Facebook and follow us on Instagram @ucddancesoc.