Every great party deserves a great pregame, and Fusion Dance Company’s twelfth annual spring show is no exception. In preparation for Fusion Throws a Party, we present a party primer that goes behind the scenes with the dancers and choreographers that make the show possible. Follow us from when the party (only) starts when you walk in to when you stumble out with sore feet, some regrets and ringing ears to get acquainted with some of the dancers. Our pre-party will help get you pumped to attend one of the three shows on Friday, April 15 at 9 p.m. and Saturday, April 16 at 7 and 10 p.m. in Ryan Auditorium.
Why did you join Fusion?
“I never did hip-hop before college at all, but I wanted to do something different, [something with] more energy and more fun. I had gotten to the point before college where dance was starting to seem like work, but that has not been my experience [with Fusion]. It’s tough, but I still enjoy the work. The energy is so high.” – Lauren Gabrio, dancer, Weinberg sophomore
“I was a prospie - I stayed with a couple guys at Sigma Chi, and they took me to see a Fusion show. When I watched them on stage, everyone looked like they were having so much fun, and that’s so true. It’s never not fun.” - Sam Riese, dancer, School of Communications sophomore
“My sister was in Fusion her junior year, and I got to be with her for her senior year when I was a freshman. Even then, I went to one of the Wildcat Welcome shows where they show all the dance teams and I still knew I wanted to do Fusion.” – Kristi Michels, dancer, Weinberg senior
“I knew I wanted to be in a dance group when I came to Northwestern. I saw a flyer for Fusion and saw them on stage at their Wildcat Welcome performance and knew I had to join. I signed up, auditioned and history was made.” – Jeanette Pranin, dancer, Weinberg junior
Awkward part before no one arrives
What is the hardest part about being in Fusion?
“As a choreographer, [large rehearsals] can get on your nerves, just because it’s hard to stop a group of really good friends from goofing around. Then you wind up doing it yourself, so it’s hypocritical. But I’d rather have it like this than any other way.” – Michels
“It sucks, because all your time is taken up but at the same time, you get to sit in a room with a lot of your best friends for hours at a time and just hang out and dance and have fun. The fact that we get along so well with each other is why we mess around so much.” – Riese
“I would say all-company rehearsals are definitely the one time I’ll feel frustrated, just because no one can ever hear the choreographer, people are messing around...it just takes a lot longer to get through rehearsals. Sometimes the rehearsals are at 10 or 11 at night, and at that point we all start to get on each other’s nerves a little.” – Gabrio
Cocktails and Small Bites
What’s it like to be in Fusion?
“Fusion itself is very tight-knit. There’s a very strong sense of community.” – Gabrio
“We’re all kind of like older brothers and sisters – we call ourselves the Fusion Fam. The older you are, the more you start treating the younger members like little siblings. Even now, I’m just a sophomore, and I already look at the freshmen like younger siblings.” - Riese
“It’s also like never ending. Alums come back constantly, regardless of if you’ve graduated or moved on.” – Michels
“When people are onstage, everyone’s super supportive, like, ‘YAS GIRL.’ So it’s pretty motivating.” – Pranin
How does Fusion prepare for a show?
“This week is going to be really intense and draining because we’re rehearsing every day for hours and hours on end. We’re probably going to be constantly dancing. But seeing all of our hard work play out, bonding over the whole week, really seeing yourself grow in the span of five days - it’s worth it in the end.” – Sunny Song, producer, Weinberg sophomore
“It’s been nonstop Fusion, 24/7. You eat together, you breathe together, you sleep together. But you get really close that way.” – Pranin
What can people expect from Fusion Throws a Party?
“It’s rowdy, it’s fun. Sitting in the audience for these shows is almost more fun than dancing in it. We were in Cahn before and that venue is great, but I like Tech a lot because you can really feel the audience’s energy so much closer.” – Caroline Leong, dancer, Weinberg sophomore
“This theme is one of the most relatable themes that we’ve done in the past years. The lighting is great, the sound has been upgraded, and we’re all putting in so much time and effort into the little things. Everything will definitely be smoother for this show.” – Pranin
“Just dancing in it, we all very much connect with [the music] and it’s very clear that people are having fun with it. It’s a little bit more upbeat than it was last year.” – Gabrio
“Our theme makes it more fun. It’s a theme people really identify with.” – Riese
Describe the feeling after a show is finished.
“Right after a show, there’s this huge adrenaline rush, and you want to go out and see everyone that came out to support you. After a show is really done, it’s kind of sad because we all love each other a lot, and you start thinking about the seniors who may not get to dance with you again for a while. I think that the spring show especially just holds a lot of importance for us.” – Riese
“It’s kind of like pregnancy – you go through all this hard work, and you get this baby, and it’s this wonderful thing, and you can’t wait to do it again.” - Song
“We spend so much time here all of Winter Quarter, and especially the first three weeks of spring, that when it’s over I literally don’t know what to do with myself. Like I would rather be dancing however many hours a night than doing nothing.” – Gabrio