RICHMOND, Va (Feb 17)—No one would have thought that a group that started out as just a bunch of college students who share a passion for dancing would ever become so big.
Blank Canvas (stylized as ___Canvas) is VCU’s hip-hop dance crew that formed in September of 2010. The crew holds weekly classes at the Franklin Street gym for anyone who wants to come out and dance, learn, and meet new people. Among the weekly classes they also perform in different showcase events to expand their name and spread their love and knowledge of the hip-hop dance culture.
“Even if you perform with us once you will always be apart of Blank Canvas,” said President Jeffrey Aquinde-Calero.
For the first time ever the crew will be competing in the Prelude DMV Urban Dance competition that will be held in Baltimore, MD this March.
“We didn’t foresee this coming,” said member, Kyle Springer, “we never intended Blank Canvas to be a competing team but we’re still stoked.”
The Prelude dance competition is an organization that not only gives those living in the DMV a chance to compete but also those in the Carolinas, South, Midwest and many other regions around the World. The competition allows an opportunity to gather different artists who can better their community through dance. Along with this the competition allows donations to after school dance programs, connects the youth to positive adult role models, and hosts a show that will better all dancers’ training and experience. Blank Canvas will be going up against 13 other dance crews that have been around the area for longer than the two years that they have been but this fact doesn’t faze them.
“Although we may be competing for the first time we’ll always be that laid back team that will accept anyone. Competition or not,” said member Clarence Castro.
Blank Canvas’ intention when creating their crew was to carry a laid back sense so everyone feels welcome to join but also remain serious when those who aspired to showcase and compete came about. The crew is remaining positive but there is stress that comes along with their first competition. Being a crew that is open and supported by VCU many of the members chose to focus on studies this time around leaving them with about 14 dancers for the competition. Having performed in the annual Coalescence showcase hosted by JMU this past January, Blank Canvas had only one month following to put together a brand new set for the upcoming competition.
“My feeling toward Prelude is simply hyped. The feeling of going on stage against so many talented dancers and doing your own thing and leaving your mark is the best feeling in the World,” said member Amy Gatewood.
Aquinde-Calero expressed how the crew got lucky when they submitted their application for the competition.
“This opportunity needs to be cherished; we want everyone to get out there and show what they have.”
The rest of the crew is steadily working hard to prepare for the competition ahead and while very excited if one fact remains true it is the words of Aquinde-Calero as well as many dancers before him, the crew will always “stay hungry and stay humble.”
Story by ME! (Lauren Grant) for my MASC 303 class…I hope I get a good grade! lol