Dance Family

Author: Aaron Collier


I don’t go to football games on Saturday... a powerful statement coming from a Notre Dame freshman. Nevertheless, I simply don’t have much of an interest in the sport and that's okay. Initially I went, but only to experience the sense of community which I thought made Notre Dame such an incredible place to be. I was both correct and incorrect in saying this, as the community here is incredible here but that community isn’t just enjoyed on football Saturdays. I find my community in the hip hop/ break dance crew, Project Fresh. Honestly I didn’t expect to find such an amazing family unit so quickly here.

We are a small group of approximately thirty people who all come from astoundingly different backgrounds. We have ballerinas from Britain, break dancers from Switzerland and street dancers from New York. While I believe this is incredible for any dance crew to be so diverse, this is not what makes PFresh such an incredible community. Nearly half of our crew members are brand new to dancing, some starting just this semester. What makes this incredible is that PFresh still manages to be entirely inclusive, inviting all those who desire to dance to dance, to dance alongside us. I am primarily a hip hop dancer, but upon coming here, I became serious about learning how to break-dance. During one of the very first practices, I challenged myself by challenging the best break dancer in our crew to a battle… obviously not one of my best ideas. After approximately thirty seconds of my flopping around on the dance floor, my now dear friend, who has been breaking for over five years mind you, proceeded to eat me alive. Of course I was the tiniest bit discouraged about my participating in such a crew, moments after my self-esteem was decimated by this awesome b-boy; but after the battle, he became my teacher. He actually went out of his way to ask if I desired his help, and I gladly accepted. Under his tutalage, I became good enough to perform in a show right beside him, just three months after our first battle. Actions of kindness such as this are a great characteristic of PFresh, and this is why we are such a close group.

Community is not always found where one would expect. Here at ND, there are many diverse types of communities that students are a part of. I am so close to those in the dance community here that I consider them to be brothers and sisters. So at Notre Dame, I've never danced with a dance crew but have only performed with a dance family.