The Divine Dance Team, previously known as Sonic Boom, has been at Albion College since fall 2018. Ever since the group established itself on campus, they have presented a team of diversity and inclusion.
“As members of the team, we are meant to make you feel like you belong here,” said Marissa Flowers, Detroit freshman.
The word “Divine” in the Divine Dance Team is more than just a name for the group; it is symbolic of the essence of the team.
“I would hope to suspect that Divine is a step above ‘divas.’ It gives us a certain professionalism and a certain class about ourselves. We are not just the Albion hip-hop dance team. We are prestigious. We are clean. As a group, we move in a professional way. Divine gives a nice flavor to the type of team we wanted,” said Flowers.
On the Divine Dance team, members get a sneak peak into different cultures from all around the world without having to travel outside of the dance studio.
“The Divine Dance Team to me is all about diversity and inclusion through dance. A lot of the girls on our team don’t specifically come from a dance background like myself,” said Flowers. “There are people who come from other countries where the dancing there is different from their culture to our culture. So the biggest thing about the Divine Dance Team is that we appreciate that diversity and learning new dance moves from different places of the world.”
The environment of the community at the Divine Dance Team is representative of their core value of making sure everyone feels included and a part of their dance family.
“The team environment is open. You never have to be afraid to not know what to do,” said Flowers. “One prime example is that in the beginning of our practices we have a dance battle. The first couple of times of us doing the dance circle, people were really uncomfortable because you are putting yourself out there and putting yourself in a position where you can make mistakes, but the people around you feel the same way. While you think you are doing horrible, we are on the sidelines hyping you up, and that makes you want to dance more and have more fun.”
The Divine Dance Team is a diverse group of individuals that brings a different cultural element to the campus. Their representation on campus is important to students of color and students of different cultural backgrounds at a predominantly white institution like Albion College.
“It’s important, not only as a dance team, but as individuals, you don’t want to be represented in a way that is truly not you. I wouldn’t want to be on a team where everyone assumes that ‘I’m ghetto. I’m this. I’m that.’ I want to be a part of a dance team that feels at home,” said Flowers.
Kameron Williams, Dallas sophomore, is the president of the Divine Dance team. He has been on the team for three years now as he was originally a part of the graduating class of 2022.
“[The dance team] is about coming together and having fun. Dancing is supposed to be fun,” said Williams. “Of course I teach dances and we have cuts for each dance, but it’s supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to be something you are passionate about and something you use to show yourself. We believe in showing our talents. Our individual talents when we dance.”
Since being on the team, Williams has noticed the progress the Divine Dance Team has made on campus in regards to their popularity and their reputation.
“We are more known because we are actually doing the basketball season. We are not going to be how in the past years they have been known as ‘the twerk team.’ That’s not what we are. We are a majorette team, and we are going to do majorette dances, so why not let us do half-time for basketball, etc.,” said Williams. “That’s all the stuff that I was looking forward to this year and that’s the stuff I made happen.”
The significance of the Divine Dance Team to Williams is the cultural representation and the pride that comes behind performing dances that are representative of marginalized communities.
“We show culture and pride in different dances and not just the traditional ballet, modern dance because that’s not just what it is. We need a team to show for the minorities on campus. We need to see where we come from, hip-hop, majorette, all that stuff,” said Williams.