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Hip Hop ConnXion to 'Set It Off' at Buskirk-Chumley


Alexis Deverly, teacher of Heels Dance Hip Hop dancing class at IU, talks in front of the students about the class schedule.  IU’s Hip Hop ConnXion will perform “Set It Off” at 6:30 p.m. Sunday in the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.  Zheng Guan Buy Photos

Hip Hop ConnXion will present “Set It Off,” at 6:30pm Sunday in the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. The dance show features performers from IU, Bloomington and across the Midwest. 

IU’s Hip Hop ConnXion is a branch of the main organization based in Chicago. The organization performs on and off campus throughout the school year and volunteers with organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club to teach dance. 

“Set It Off” is the biggest event of the year for the group, said Tiffany Pham, IU senior and general director for the group. The group has auditions each year, and members practice dances throughout the school year to perform at the show. 

The show features 16 guest performance groups from around Bloomington and the Midwest, such as the Hoosierettes Dance Team and the Crimson Clover Irish Dancers at IU. Dance styles from these groups range from Irish dancing to jazz, as well as an a capella group.

Pham said audiences should expect energy-filled performances at the show.

While she has a background in high school competitive dance, Pham said she joined Hip Hop ConnXion to continue dance as a hobby. She also joined because of the people who were a part of the group and the organization's mission to encourage others in a positive manner. 

Pham said one of the goals of the dance group is to inspire others, particularly young people, through dance.

“It just shows, especially the youth, that there’s positive ways that they can express themselves through art of dance or any kind of art as well,” she said. 

Pham said the organization has taught her how to collaborate on an organizational level with the other directors and the rest of her team.

By collaborating through dance, the group is able to support others in organizations and at events in the community, Pham said. This collaboration goes toward a bigger picture of helping out others.

Yulong Li, a freshman and member of Hip Hop ConnXion, joined because she was looking to improve her dance skills and make new friends. While she said her dancing has improved and she wants to improve more, she has also found a community in the group and support from its members. 

The fact that the group choreographs its own dances is new to Li and sets it apart from other groups, she said. 

“This is something very unique in this club," she said. "In other clubs, some people just learn from the dance online videos, but they choreograph every presentation." 

Li began dancing at a young age and after trying different dance styles, she pursued hip hop dancing.

She said she enjoys hip hop dancing because she says she can feel the power of the dance. The group not only performs the dances, but also tells the story of the dance and of how the music is used for expression, she said. 

“The way they perceive the music or express their feelings really makes me feel into the dance,” she said.

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