UNYK Dance Troupe

William Sikich

One of the many things that makes Augustana’s campus a unique place to learn is its numerous student-lead performing groups. One such group, perhaps among the lesser-known on campus, is the UNYK Dance Troupe, Augustana’s multicultural dance group.

While UNYK doesn’t have any performances planned for winter term, practice starts soon for their show in the spring, and they plan to perform at Chi Alpha Pi’s upcoming Mr. Augustana event. What should Augustana students expect out of a UNYK performance? According to their vice president, Hunter Bader, UNYK performs just about anything.

“Well, we’re a multicultural dance troupe, so we have a big variety of types of dancing,” said Bader. UNYK members enjoy dancing to K-pop, performing Chinese cultural dances, Indian cultural dances and many others. UNYK also hosts other dance groups during their shows, adding even more variety to their performances. So, no matter your preference, this dance troupe has something for everybody.

Beyond providing a diverse array of entertainment, UNYK also tries to bring Augustana together in more personal ways. Tracy Ngo, a senior, said, “It’s fun, full of great people and a free workout.”Regardless of someone’s background or dance experience, they want the student body to know that anyone is welcome to join their ranks.

“Our goal on campus is to provide an inclusive and fun environment for anyone who is interested in or likes to dance. I think our group is very inclusive to any members who might want to join,” said Bader.

He isn’t just speaking as a leader of the troupe. He, too was an inexperienced, prospective member during his first year at Augustana, and UNYK accepted him without qualification. A friend of his asked him to show up to the meeting in exchange for free food from the C-Store, and he begrudgingly complied.

“I watched them, and I was like ‘this isn’t too bad,’ so I ended up going back because of the people there. They came up, they talked to me and they were nice,” Bader said, recalling his first time attending a UNYK practice session.“They were very inviting, and I think that’s the overall purpose of our group.” Now, as the group’s vice president, he hopes that people from all walks of life and levels of dancing experience will come and sign up for UNYK.

During fall term of this year, several of UNYK’s key members, including their president and main choreographer, were absent from campus. This term, however, UNYK is excited to have its full executive board back in attendance so they can begin preparations for next term’s performance, which will likely take place near the end of spring term.

Do you think think you have what it takes to be a part of UNYK? They sure seem to think you do, so next time you’re looking for some good exercise, a nice group of people to engage with, or even