“Twerk it”, “pop it”, “lock it” and “drop it” are phrases that aren’t associated with Utah. However, Salt Lake Community College’s Ultimate Motion Dance Club (UMDC) is a part of the emerging hip-hop scene in Utah.
UMDC practices on the concrete of the student quad, in the hallways of the Lifetime Activities Center and on patches of grass scattered throughout the Taylorsville Redwood Campus. The fact that they don’t have a designated place to dance doesn’t discourage them—it’s motivation.
“We want to put the urban and hip-hop style into the world and put Utah on the map to show that we’re a hip-hop community, not just ballroom and ballet,” says UMDC co-president James Lawrence.
The members of UMDC come from a wide variety of backgrounds and educational interests that range from physical therapy to engineering.
They all have one thing in common—the love for hip-hop and dance. Many of the current members have no formal dance training. They’re self-taught, and they’ve found growth in the club.
“One of my major problems in growing up in dance is not having an opportunity—not having a place. So many places, yeah, you can dance there if your check clears. Many of us don’t have those types of resources,” says Lawrence. “We wanted to provide an opportunity for people at all levels to do what they love to do.”
Members interested in performing can try out for the Zodiak Crew, which has partnered with Utah’s Urban Dance Organization to present the dance showcase “Just Because” on Sept. 13 and 14 in the Grand Theatre at South City Campus.
The showcase features dance crews from across the state including Mosiac, Emoticons, Odyssey and Vibe. Soloist Tadd Gadduang from the eighth season of “So You Think You Can Dance” will be preforming as well.
Zodiak has practiced nearly every day for the performance.
It’s been physically demanding, but crew members say that they’re anxious for the showcase, because they see it as an opportunity to get their name out there.
“Just Because” starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the Grand Theatre box office or online at www.the-grand.org/events.
The club encourages SLCC students and members of the community to join UMDC. No experience is required.
“We want to provide a place for people to come and dance and have a good time; to share a love for hip-hop,” says UMDC President Kiana Fatahian.