On Fort Worth’s red-brick street, NW campus Mosaic company dancers gathered in a pop-up dance performance surrounded by the artists and vendors of the Fort Worth Main Street Arts Festival.
The performances made of selected excerpts from the upcoming Spring concert this Thursday were chosen for their upbeat, engaging vibe.
“For today we selected a hip-hop class, tap and one of our African fusion pieces called Soul Fusion,” Amy Jennings, associate professor of dance at NW, said.
Lacreacia Sanders, an associate professor of dance at NW as well, said that the pieces were chosen to attract the crowd, get them moving along with the dancers and feel uplifted at the festival.
They danced through rain and shine—at some point both—to various different dancing styles.
NW student and dancer of the Mosaic company Melanie Diaz grew up dancing in ballet but got into more styles later on. Because of this, she said learning these allowed for her to expand as a dancer, like pop, which was applied in the performance.
“Pop is very new to me, but I mean, over the weeks you get it in your system,” she said.
Tap dancing was introduced when a dancer arrived with a circular wooden board to place on the ground.
Jessie Martinez, an alumni in the program, said the tap dancing piece they performed was a tribute to past dancers and had a very Y2K, nostalgic feeling.
“This was the first piece of the semester, and we didn’t really get that long to learn it,” she said. “So a lot of it has been watching videos and just watching the other dancers, I think it was like 2004, 2008 or something like that, so a long time ago.”
NW student and Mosaic dancer Kara Hawkins said that when she was a kid, she liked making noise with her feet more than she enjoyed doing ballet, thus tap. For her, she preferred being louder than the poised nature of a ballerina.
“It’s just always more fun, more sounds. It’s also really cool when you get a trick,” she said. “I feel tricks in tap dance are more satisfying than a turn.”
Andrea Faber, an instructional aid alumni for the company and NW student was already familiar with the performance and wanted to perfect it. One she had recognized was the African fusion piece.
“We have an anniversary show and that’ll usually be our big finale number, so I’ve learned that years ago,” she said.
The Mosaic itself is an audition based touring company, as Faber said.
“We do a lot of outreach stuff. We’ve been in high schools, spring shows, we’ve gone and done career days for elementary schools,” she said. “It’s more for people that just want to expand a little bit and do some things around the community.”