Among the food, students and booths in the Weber State University Shepherd Union Atrium, an improvisational dance class suddenly began their silent dance session at 12:45 p.m. on March 22.
“We often dance to music, but I thought today it would be nice and kind of raw for them to be in a public space with just the ambiance sounds of people talking and walking by,” said improv dance teacher Amanda Sowerby.
Outside their normal studio in the Browning Center, Sowerby said the un-choreographed performance was meant to explore various dance concepts. These include complementary and contrasting movement — the use of either harmonious or diversifying shapes, respectively — and weight sharing.
The dance class was exploring sight-specific improvisation for that class session. Two student dancers in the class began the dance session in the atrium, but as time continued, other student dancers from the class joined the silent dance session.
Another student, Christian Milburn, who was not a member of the class, decided to join the performance — an event Sowerby later expressed surprised over.
“I didn’t know what was going on. It looked like dance twister happening in the middle of the floor,” Milburn said. “I was trying to eat a burrito and I wanted to figure out what they were doing, so I joined them.”
Dance student Jaycee Gray said she preferred improv dancing with music, but with no lyrics. In accordance with World Water Day, she said the group was thinking about how to move like a liquid.
“We are just used to moving. It doesn’t matter if it is silent,” Gray said.