By Rhea Riley
Origins Dance Krew and SueMo: A Dance Experience, traveled to Chicago last Sunday, Nov. 18 to compete in the regional leg of the International Dance Competition, World of Dance.
Established in 2008, World of Dance has become a staple of success within the dance world, particularly Hip Hop. The world-renowned organization has produced a mass following, in which the best teams and dancers of over 25 countries flock to perform in their competitions and showcases. The organization has seen a recent increase in popularity due to its hit NBC TV show of the same name. However, the prestige of the name was not discouraging but instead enticing for these local groups.
“I need to push the envelope, I want to take Origins to the next Level,” said Founder of Origins Joshua Yang.
The University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee (UWM) student began his dance career later than most. Starting only seven years ago, the self-taught dancer took a year off of school to begin training.
Now, Yang teaches as a Hip-Hop instructor at several local studios, including the Milwaukee Ballet Company, but that was not enough. Yang felt encouraged to provide the dance community with an opportunity to access high-caliber training without discrimination of one’s dance background. To achieve this Yang created the Dance company Origins. Yang grew the team without auditions, but instead extended personal invitations to those looking to grow as dancers.
“It has always been a dream of mine,” said founder of Origins Joshua Yang. “I’ve always wanted to go to World of Dance, but just wasn’t really confident in my abilities, but then I realized Milwaukee needed some type of push and I felt I was the one to do that.”
At the beginning of their second season, Yang set the goal for Origins to perform at World of Dance. Throughout a nine month span the team prepared by performing at numerous events, such as the Newaukee Street Festival, The DanceMKE competiton presented by Marcus Performing Arts Center and even traveled to Michigan to showcase at their Motor City Choreographer’s Collective.
“To compete amongst Chicago’s best, Origins brought a piece that didn’t fit the usual hard-hitting, trick-filled, military-sized dances that shock and awe on the World of Dance stages. Instead they brought heart,” said Yang.
The piece titled “Work Song” set to the song of the same name by artist Hoizer, portrays a love story set amongst a mundane world with the dancers breaking free through the power of love.
The team performed their tear-jerking piece throughout the summer and their revamped World of Dance edition was no different in mesmerizing the audience.
Origins was not the only team to emotionally stun the audience, Milwaukee company SueMo: A Dance Experience, brought the water works with their piece “Ultralight Beam.” Co-founder Morgan “Mo” Williams along with two other members of Origins, Jasper Sanchez and Nicolet Svabek performed twice at the competition.
“To be a part of both of them, was such a cool experience.” said Svabek. “To be on that stage and be representing Milwaukee with both of these great companies, I thought that was so cool.”
According to Svabek, performing at World of Dance at the age of 20 was surreal. The same was said for Sanchez a new dancer who had dreams of performing at the competition. Sanchez a Hip-Hop dancer performed out of his element with the contemporary piece but left the audience captivated with his raw and powerful duet with Williams.
“World of Dance always seemed like a very intangible thing, like that’s never going to be me,” said Sanchez on being able to perform. “It’s weird being on the other end of it, receiving the award and being the ones that were dancing, it’s just unreal.”
SueMo went on to place third at the competition advancing them to the organization’s championship Competition. The championships will take place in July in Anaheim, California. Origins placed seventh out of the 16 teams competing. According to Yang, it was a huge accomplishment due to it being their first time at the esteemed event.
“A lot of the dancers were just ambitious enough and passionate and willing to believe in me and also themselves to just go for it. That is not an easy feat especially for dancers who’ve just started dancing,” Yang said. “We have so much potential and this is literally the beginning.”
For now, both teams will be rounding out the year finishing up projects. However, you can watch them perform next year. SueMo will be premiering their company exhibition “Symbiosis” Jan. 12 and 13 at the Marcus Center’s Wilson Theater.
You can also catch both teams perform at the Dance Concert Lituation. The event will be held on February 22 at the Miramar Theater.
To learn more about Lituation or to buy tickets visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lituation-v2-tickets-52539780899