Jessica Sanon Reignites the Blaze Dance Team 

Blaze dancers let their flags fly high at Multicultural Night./

By Amira Turner 

 

   When she isn’t studying to pursue a career in physical training, BC junior Jessica Sanon has been working hard to bring rhythm back to the campus. 

   The Blaze Dance Team was formed in 2015 as a diverse dance team that combined Afro-Caribbean, Desi, and Hip-Hop dance styles at BC. In the fall of 2022, the Blaze Dance Team went on hiatus. That’s when Sanon sprung into action. 

   She spent the next five months posting flyers all around campus, advertising on social media, putting together a club board, and even advertising herself throughout classes in person. 

  “Moreso, I was trying to make them known again, like trying to spread the word as much as I could, because even though this is a big campus, people don’t know a lot of things about it,” Sanon said. 

  In September of 2023, Sanon was ready to host auditions for the Blaze Dance Team. Sanon particularly gravitated towards the collaborative nature of dance, so she was sure to make the audition process as comfortable as possible. 

  “I know how it goes for, like, when you go on an audition, and how anxious it can be. So I try not to make the atmosphere feel like that,” Sanon said. 

Sanon discovered her love of dance in second grade at the suggestion of a teacher. “I attended this after-school program and they had dance and I had never done it before,” she told The Vanguard, “but the dance teacher was, like, insisting that I tried and then I just fell in love with it.”

  Sanon continued to pursue dance, graduating from Fordham High School of the Arts with a chancellor’s diploma in dance, which she earned through completing the New York Arts Commencement Assessment. During her first year at BC, Sanon became involved with cheer and the Caribbean Student Union (CSU), but she knew she wanted to revive BC’s dance team. 

   “I just naturally gravitated towards cheer,” she shared, “but when I became Vice-President of the Caribbean Student Union, I was like, Okay, when I become President of the Caribbean Student Union, I will also try to bring black Blaze.” 

   Above all else, Sanon says Blaze is about freedom, expression, and having fun for everyone involved. 

   “Working with Jess is truly incredible,” Blaze dancer Hannah Nelson, told The Vanguard. “Her ability to make sure everyone understands the movement is amazing.”

   The Blaze Dance Team was able to showcase their skills at Multicultural Night on Nov. 16, hosted by Phi Sigma Chi, a BC fraternity, and CSU. The performance included a variety of songs paying homage to each of the student unions in attendance. The choreography also featured the dancers proudly waving flags of their choice, celebrating their cultural identities. The featured flags represented nations all around the world, from Jamaica to Chile to Trinidad and Tobago. 

   “It was ecstatic,” Sanon said. .. “I would love to go back to that night because it was just so much fun. It was amazing. Everybody had a blast.”

    The inclusion of flags at Multicultural Nights is just one of the many ways Sanon is striving to make Blaze a collaborative space. “We have a lot of different personalities[…] I want to make a space where everybody can be themselves and show their personalities regardless of their status on the team,” Sanon told The Vanguard. 

   Sanon’s dedication to making Blaze a collaborative space has definitely paid off for members of the dance team, like Nelson. “I love the way we all come together and brainstorm different ways to make a part of a dance look cooler, or easier to help each other out… this team has made me look at fellowship and even friendship in a different, positive way,” Nelson said.. 

    For students interested in joining, Sanon has one piece of advice. “Come! Maybe this is not this is the first time you’re actually dancing,” she said. “You don’t know until you try something to really know like, this is for me. And this is not about if you have the best technique or if you’ve been dancing your whole life… it’s all about confidence and showing who you are.”

  

   Blaze meets during common hours from 12:15 to 2:00 p.m., and on Wednesdays from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. You can find more information about The Blaze Dance Team on Instagram, @blaze_bcdanceteam, or via their LinkTree, linktr.ee/bc.blazedanceteam

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