NAU Badjacks illustrate life experiences in upcoming performance
By Elly Cain
Northern Arizona University’s (NAU’s) well-known dance club, the Badjacks, will take their audience on an adventure through dance during their performance this weekend, representing their significant life events through the students’ polished dance skills and passionate choreography.
This “Life Events” theme is largely based on the personal experiences of the dancers, according to junior exercise science major and Badjacks coach Ashley Burke.
“We’ve done a couple different themes in the past, but this one’s more internalized by the dancers. If you have a certain feeling, if a song makes you feel a certain way, if something happened in your life that you really want to express, this is your time to shine,” Burke said.
This troop has been putting in extra, more productive practices, according to the coach, to prepare for the upcoming performance.
“We’ve been trying to make our practices more efficient [by] using our time better. We do get sidetracked, but we’ve been really trying to stick to our schedule,” Burke said.
This effort will pay off when it comes to performance time, according to freshman electronic media and film major Emani Payne.
“It’s going to be awesome. Everybody is in for a treat. Everyone’s put in a lot of work, a lot of time, a lot of energy, late nights. We have a lot of styles, so I think it will be a good show,” Payne said.
There are currently about 60 Badjacks selected for the performance team through the audition process held at the beginning of the semester. Having this many performers gives the club an opportunity to include very diverse choreography in their show.
This multifaceted group of students is what makes Badjacks a unique dance community, according to Becca Richardson, a second-year Badjack and sophomore psychology major.
“The coolest part about Badjacks is that everybody has different styles. Everybody just comes together and that stuff doesn’t matter, and it just makes it really cool because you get to learn. Someone might have a certain style, and they can bring it in and teach it to everybody,” Richardson said.
This mix of styles is going to give the dancers’ upcoming performance plenty of variety for the audience.
Amanda Tillman, a freshman hotel and restaurant management major, said, “[The audience] should expect some pretty creative dances and a lot of laughter, a little bit of everything.”
Adding to that, Brittany Jones, a three-year Badjack and a senior electronic media and film major, said the audience will “experience lots of different emotions.”
Being a Badjack, students put in endless nights of practice, choreography planning and commitment to perfect their routines.
“I think you have to be dedicated; you have to come and learn your dances and dedicate yourself to the dances because you want them to be the best that they can be for the people to see them, because you want to have a good performance,” Richardson said.
The concert will take place on Nov. 11, at 4 p.m. in Ardrey Auditorium. Tickets are free, but retrieving them from the Central Ticketing Office beforehand is encouraged.
This Badjacks performance is also a collaboration of the valuable life lessons they have learned through dance.
“You have to be patient, you have to have tough skin in this business, definitely. You learn time management, and you just mature [quickly],” Payne said. “I think it’s about learning how to use your time and work with people you’ve never worked with and learn something new.”