If you’re looking for a dance group on campus that offers class in a variety of genres, a diverse group of members who enjoy dancing and a sense of community beyond the dance floor, Ambitions is the right group for you. Created by students Nicole Lacey, Yvonne Winbourne, Jasmine Bailey, and Jazmin Tyson, Ambitions is a contemporary dance group that uses today’s pop songs to incorporate other genres of dance such as jazz, hip-hop, samba and tap. Valley sat down with the founders of Ambitions to discover the passion and vision behind their group.
Ambitions was officially recognized by the University in December of 2011, which was a proud moment for the girls, who hoped to bring change. One of the reasons the founders created Ambitions was because of lack of diversity, artistically and ethnically.
“I felt like it was ‘me and them,’” says Bailey, co-founder and senior. “We [Ambitions] wanted to touch back on how we felt at home, with all different races, arts and techniques coming together and feeling comfortable in one space.”
The founders of Ambitions welcome anyone into their group – their family. Lacey, co-founder and co-president, says one of their main goals is to create a comfortable environment.
“It’s not just dancing together; it’s co-existing,” Bailey explains. “When new members come they say ‘the environment is so welcoming,’ that’s just something we strive to maintain at all times.”
Winbourne, co-founder and publicist, says, “The best part is seeing your dream come alive with other people that share your dream. Allowing other people to flourish over your dream and vision is very rewarding.”
Aside from diversity within the group, the founders also hope that dancers keep their heart in dance and feel open to try new things.
“We want dancers to remain passionate about dance. The direction the dance world is going in is very competition based and judgmental,” Lacey says. “You have to love what you do.”
Tyson, vice president and co-founder, wants to offer the same structured dance style in Ambitions that you would at a dance school.
“We want to make sure they get exposed to many different styles in a comfortable environment,” says Tyson. “Some don’t learn the many different styles in dance in college. That’s one of our biggest goals.”
Ambitions’ next big project is to host a sampler. A sampler is when the biggest dance groups on campus perform in one show. Tyson says this will be a great opportunity to showcase everyone.
“There’s a lot of smaller groups on campus that are great, and we want to collaborate with,” Tyson says. “We’re really big on having a dance community and a lot of groups don’t really know each other on campus and we’re trying to fix that.”
Ambitions holds a technique class every Friday at 5 in Room 113 in the White Building. Classes are free and open to everyone.
Photo by Jonathan Hsieh