In Focus: Funtastic Dance Follies Gets The Crowd On Their Feet
Theatrics, cheerleaders, backflips, giant chickens, and (of course) some ballroom dancing: put it all together and you’ll get the Funtastic Dance Follies.
“The Dance Follies is a show that we put on at the end of the year with the dance team, cheer team, anyone who wants to do it, and it’s just a really fun event that we have. Four shows – it’s pretty hectic but always very fun,” says Julian Vrudny, the president of Bemidji State University Ballroom Club.
This year’s Funtastic Dance Follies featured 40 different dance numbers. The show is presented by the Suzy and Hondo School of Dance in the collaboration with Bemidji State University. With 74 years under its belt, it’s become a long-cherished tradition.
“There’s a lot of numbers that they keep doing every single year that are fan favorites and alumni come back every year to watch and alumni are also in the show, so it’s just kind of a fun way to get everybody to come back for the show,” says Lauren Stock, a member of the BSU dance team.
The show featured more than 80 dancers, but that numbers triples if you count the audience members. The crowd plays a big part in every single Follies show.
Luke Alexander, a dance in the show, says, “We feed off the energy from the audience and if they’re cheering, we’re having a good time. Even though we might screw up every once in a while, they’re cheering us on and we just have a fun time out on the dancing floor.”
“It feels real good when we get big crowds and they’re very enthusiastic and they interact with us. Last year was my first year here and ever since I’ve been doing this, the crowds have always been great,” says Shannon Allen, a member of the BSU dance team.
The date for next year’s follies is already set for April 23rd – April 25th. You can expect the same fun traditions plus some new tricks for the 75th anniversary.
“We have things from the ’50s to present and people love it, so we keep doing it. 75th year next year, so they should come out,” says Vrudny.
“If you want to be in it, come in it. You do not have to know how to dance to be in the show. We throw community members in all the time. We just like to have fun, so come and give it a try,” says Harley Brakewalker, a dancer in the show.