By: Connie Klimek
The Kickline kicked off their first performance on in downtown South Bend at the Studebaker Plaza on April 2. The performance was featured as a part of Downtown South Bend’s April First Fridays.
This event coined with the name Tap into Spring also featured an art installation, live music, food, drinks as well as a “Downtown Tap Tour,” which showcased the numerous draught beer selections downtown.
The Kickline’s first performance included four dance routines all with props and costume changes. The first performance of this year was successful for the group as they worked alongside Downtown South Bend and a supportive audience.
The IU South Bend Kickline is known for their performances in Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts’ annual Teddy Bear Concert, concerts at IU South Bend, local performances and has created a presence in downtown South Bend.
Due to IU’s regulations which monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, like many of the performing arts, the IU South Bend Kickline had to reconfigure what their dance team would now look like, in terms of their schedule, rehearsals and performances.
The IU South Bend Kickline began learning new choreography and rehearsing over Zoom. All of the dancers began learning a dance routine called “Weapon of Choice,” which is influenced by the board game, Clue. The choreography to “Weapon of Choice” showcases dance instructor, Karen Pajor’s, creativity and flexibility in discovering a safe way for her dancers to keep tapping. Additionally, learning a new dance over Zoom highlights the Kickline’s adaptability from their previous routines to adhering to IU’s restrictions and guidelines.
“It is weird having to change choreography so that we are farther apart from each other – such as no longer linking arms for kicks, but I’m just extremely grateful that I get to perform with my friends again! Tap dancing is something I’ve been doing since middle school, so getting back into it feels amazing,” Gabby Elick, dancer in IU South Bend Kickline, said.
Occasionally IU South Bend would grant them permission to rehearse in person, on the grounds that the university’s COVID-19 regulations would be followed.
Following the beginning of the spring 2021 semester, the IU South Bend Kickline was permitted The curtains have not dropped just yet. Look out for more IU South Bend Kickline performances to come.