Bison Girls perform ‘Off the Court’

Isabel Gardner, Contributing Writer

With endless pirouettes, grand battements and sky-high leaps, the Bison Girls showcased some of the University’s dance talent at their annual “Off the Court” event on Nov. 1 and 2 downtown at Iron Front.

“We wanted to exceed everyone’s expectations again this year. We found a more intimate, chic setting in Iron Front, which though untraditional with seating and dance space, turned out to work really well for our show,” Bison Girls President Maria Garavente ’20 said.

Jen Borowka ’20 and Charlie Greenwood ’20 emceed the evening, making witty remarks and doing a personal dance number between performances. The Bison Girls were also joined by an array of special guests, such as the Bisonettes, the Irish Dance Club, and the Silhouettes.

“It was great to see the Bison Girls perform in a new light as many of the choreographed dances were really beautiful and moving. You can see how much thought and work goes into the choreography and the event in general,” Katharine McDonald ’20 said.

The whole team performed the opening number, “Overdrive,” setting the night’s energy into high gear with animated and fun hip-hop choreography.

Following the high-tempo opener, Gianna Crisafulli ’22, Julianna Klein ’23, Morgan Hall
’23 and Belle Pearce ’23 performed a contemporary piece, set to James Bay’s “Let it Go.”

Garavente and team captains Tatum Contreras ’20 and Sydney Pelletier-Martinelli ’21, along with choreographer Maddy Mallory ’22, presented another hip-hop routine. The girls, matching in denim jackets, presented crisp choreography set to “Pick it Up” by Famous Dex and A$AP Rocky.

Borowka and Greenwood introduced special guests, the Bisonettes, another dance team on campus. The team came on with a hip-hop number, choreographed to a mash-up of popular hip-hop music. 

With choreography by Contreras and Pelletier-Martinelli, the whole team returned for a modern number, “Motions.”

The emcees presented the second special guest of the night, the Irish Dance Club. Choreographed by Maddie English ’20 and Andrea Schiele ’20, the Irish Dance Club impressed with their quick steps.

The night had a quick change of pace, as Noreen Andrush ’22, Ellie Hooker ’21, Klein, Cara O’Neill ’22 and Janine Warner ’20 sauntered to “One” from A Chorus Line. Donning top hats and ending with a kick-line, the dancers performed in true musical theater fashion.

“We were so happy and grateful with the turnout to see so many of our friends and family come out to see us. It was really amazing to see all of our hard work pay off; it was all worth it,” O’Neill said.

Bison Girls team members Hooker, Olivia Loggia ’20 and Katrien Weemaes ’21 choreographed and danced an upbeat jazz/hip-hop ensemble, “Bad Idea,” to a medley of popular Ariana Grande songs.

Dancers Lauren Bednarski ’22, Alana Bortman ’22, Crisafulli, Hall and Lindsey Moy ’20 put on another elegant lyrical piece, choreographed by Bednarski, to “Someone You Loved” by Lewis Capaldi.

Senior Bison Girls dancers Contreras, Garavente, Loggia, Moy and Warner collaborated and performed another poignant lyrical dance, “Home.”

The third and final special guests of the evening, the Silhouettes, matched the high spirits of the night and sang a playful and gifted mash-up of songs by Lizzo for the audience. 

The entire Bison Girls team rounded out the evening with a spectacular hip-hop number, “Lose My Breath,” choreographed by Contreras and Pelletier-Martinelli.

“I am so proud of all of my teammates – the show would not have been what it was if it wasn’t for each Bison Girl’s drive and commitment to our team,” Garavente said.

Following their “Off the Court” performances, the Bison Girls will perform at the half-time shows of the University’s home basketball games starting this weekend.

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