When thinking of the word “atomic,” one might think of the smallest unit of matter or of protons and electrons, but for a group of Rowan students, it’s all about the energy.
Founded in the summer of 2012 by former Rowan student Calvin Martin, Rowan University’s dance club, Atomik Legacy, moves to a charged beat.
Every Tuesday and Thursday at 8 p.m., members of the club meet in Memorial Hall to practice. President Jessica Brown, a senior early childhood education and liberal studies dual major, classifies Atomik Legacy’s style as one that embodies a combination of African and hip-hop, although the group also incorporates elements of modern dance. Originally part of the African Student Association, it has since branched out into its own entity.
The club usually performs at a variety of events throughout the year, including the Black Cultural League’s Fashion Show and the Annual Step Show, among others. Recently, the club performed at the Black Cultural League’s Black History Month opening ceremony. The Black Cultural League is an organization that looks to encourage unity and cultural awareness on campus. In addition to performances around campus, the club also provides its members the opportunity to dance competitively.
According to senior theater and dance major La’Nise Ambrose, joining the club has been about more than just dancing. Ambrose first got involved with Atomik Legacy in the fall semester of her freshman year. She shared a mutual friend with the president at the time, and decided to try out. Since then, Ambrose has gone on to become the vice president of the club, and believes her involvement has helped shape her as a person.
“It gave me an opportunity to work on [my] leadership skills and to encourage people to become better dancers,” Ambrose said.
Tayanna Washington, a junior psychology major and club member, also mentioned the importance of the club in her life.
“It’s basically shaping my college experience,” Washington said. “They’re my Atomik family, we do everything together.”
Some of the club’s members plan to pursue dancing as a career, or attempt to incorporate it into their future jobs. As an early childhood education major, Brown might include dancing as an activity her students could do. Ambrose plans to have a career in dance and felt that her experience in the club will help, as she has learned how to interact with dancers of many different skill levels.
Unlike Brown and Ambrose, Washington is not looking to make dance a part of her career outside of college. For her, dancing is just something she loves to do in her spare time.
“It’s just fun, something to relax,” Washington said. “To see everyone laughing and smiling and doing something I like was the point of joining.”
Moving forward, Atomik Legacy plans to keep up a full schedule. The team will be performing at several Rowan events this semester, including the Rosa Parks Luncheon and the 3D Exhibition in April.
While auditions for the club were recently held, anyone interested in joining, who missed auditions, can contact Brown to get involved.
“No prior dance experience [is] required,” Brown said. “[You] just have to show energy.”
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