Org Spotlight: FlyPeople dance into hearts

Vassar’s first student-run dance company, FlyPeople, performed on Nov. 30 in Kenyon Hall. Pictured above, the lighting framed the dancers’ movements in shifting silhouettes. Courtesy of Clara Pitt.

The Vassar community experienced a special treat last week: They witnessed the stage come alive in a performance unlike any other. On Nov. 30, Vassar College’s Kenyon Hall transformed into a den of music and dance. FlyPeople, Vassar’s first student-run dance company, put on the spectacle of a lifetime. Members range in class year, disciplines and experience. While the organization requires members to audition, this diversity allows FlyPeople to constantly evolve, so it’s unique each year. This year’s show, featuring nine different sets, was choreographed and performed by the student members of this organization.

The display illuminated a range of different styles. From dances that were upbeat with lively music, to more serious and emotional fare, the production illustrated the talent and commitment of each one of the members. While as a student org FlyPeople does not offer academic credit, the time commitment made by each member proves substantial. Between hours spent learning new dances, rehearsing and combining all the elements of the show, each member dedicates themself to putting on a great experience for everyone in attendance.

When asked about her experience with this organization, Artistic Director and member of FlyPeople Gabbi Chwae ’19 responded via email, “FlyPeople is the only thing that has been with me for all four years of college; I’m grateful to be giving back to the company in this leadership role, showing underclassmen what FlyPeople can mean to all of us and to the greater campus dance environment.” The members of FlyPeople are involved in different aspects of life at Vassar, from different clubs to leadership roles and jobs on campus. The commonality that they all share is a love of dancing. Chwae, who joined during her first year at Vassar, noted, “The company this year is comprised of the most enthusiastic and dedicated members, all of whom are overcommitted on campus, yet still find time to find in their busy schedules to dance.” FlyPeople is comprised of dancers from all backgrounds and of all skill levels. Members are united by their passions for dancing and performance. While FlyPeople is officially defined as the first student-run dance company on campus, Chwae commented, “More casually, we’re a group of students who run an audition-in dance company to provide a casual, but professional dance company environment run by and for students.”

Not only do the members bond over their passion, but they also use this org as an outlet to express their feelings and experiences, and come together to collaborate. Each year, new students join the organization and make it their own. Chwae summarized the spirit of the org: “FlyPeople is what the company makes of it, and this year, we’re making it our outlet from the fast-paced Vassar environment where we can laugh, cry, shake our booties, and create some incredible art.”

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