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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Fade to Black performed at annual fall show Nov. 19

Fade+To+Black+performs+their+opening+number+Sunday+in+Rudder+Auditorium.
Photo by Photo by Jesse Everett

Fade To Black performs their opening number Sunday in Rudder Auditorium.

From performing at NCAA basketball games to getting invited to highly competitive national dance competitions, Fade to Black gives their audience a true experience.
On Nov. 19, Fade to Black, performed their fall show in Rudder Theater. Titled “The Experience,” the recital consisted of dances choreographed by the team’s members.
Fourteen of Fade to Black’s 47 members took on the task of choreographing the routine — no easy task according to director of dance and sports management senior Elijah Upchurch.
“There’s somewhat of a formula,” Upchurch said. “You have to choreograph dances that look good in both big groups and small groups as well. Then you have to choreograph songs that people know, and know the different varieties to try to match the dancers on the team. You kind of just have to feel it out.”
Fade to Black was formed in 1991 and has since performed at basketball games, Songfest, Aggies United, Fish Camp and more. The team even stepped outside of the A&M universe and performed at a San Antonio Spurs basketball game last year and plan to perform in San Antonio again this December.
Fade to Black secretary and political science junior Jaycee Jones said the group strives to go above and beyond their past achievements.
“My freshman year was more casual,” Jones said. “Obviously dancing is fun and we want to make it a little casual, but we want to get our name out there and for people to know we’re not just a small team from College Station.”
The transition to a more serious group was daunting, but attainable, according to Upchurch. He is hoping “The Experience” and other future shows will demonstrate their progress.
“When we made that decision that we wanted to become a serious dance group at Texas A&M and create a presence, that was probably one of the hardest transitions Fade to Black had to go through,” Upchurch said. “It’s kind of hard to go from going to practice to hang out to going to practice to work, but through that we’ve learned a lot about each other and have gotten a lot closer.”
Biology freshman Deanna Fisher said she attended the show support for a friend in the group.
“It’s very entertaining for me to watch,” she said. “Especially when it’s a group of people putting the time together to actually try to get a point across to other people. It brings people closer, together as a whole.”
Despite the group performing mostly hip hop dances, they pride themselves in dance diversity and exposing both the dancers and the audience, to new varieties of dance. Choreographers can create contemporary dances, salsa dances, tap dances and more. Jones said that when they’re invited to perform they, do hip hop, but their show is free rein.
“It’s really anything and everything,” Jones said. “I think that’s why it’s so fun to be on the team because you get exposed to styles you’ve never done before.”
Upchurch said that this was the best the team has performed. The group puts in many hours a week toward their performance and seeing the team advance in skill and watching the team’s vision come to life on stage made Jones emotional.
“I’m actually really impressed with how the show went,” Jones said. “Everyone was giving 110%. We’ve definitely improved a lot since the past years. That little feeling you get when you’re happy doing what you love, I felt that on stage tonight with my team.”

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  • Junior Elijah Upchurch leads his group in a foreign influenced hip-hop style dance.

    Photo by Photo by Jesse Everett
  • Sophomore Jada Stith performs her Pumpfidence routine at Fade II Black’s Fall Show.

    Photo by Photo by Jesse Everett
  • Senior Elijah Upchurch performs the dance he choreographed.

    Photo by Photo by Jesse Everett
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