Kansas State’s hip-hop dance team, Poize, is preparing for its last performance of the semester, “Poize After Dark 2: A Night in the Wild.”
The team practices for three hours twice a week, lead by their president, Briana Hawkins, senior in public relations. She joined Poize as a freshman in 2011 and became president in 2016. The event will be her final performance with the dance team.
“This semester is kind of emotional for me since I know that I’m leaving my team,” Hawkins said. “I do care for them a lot and I want them to not only be good dancers, but to grow as good people.”
It is not just Hawkins who feels connected to members of the dance team.
“We are not just a team, we are a family,” said Phoenix Franklin, freshman in secondary education.
Franklin joined Poize after tryouts last February. Her inspiration to dance is her love of performing in front of an audience.
“I saw them perform at their last step-show and I suddenly wanted to perform with them,” Franklin said. “When I tried out, I had my doubts and discouragements about my own ability to dance, but the girls were so encouraging. That’s what I love about us, we all try to boost each other’s confidence.”
Mikayla Abernathy, sophomore in apparel marketing and vice president of Poize, said members of the team must bring individuality and lots of energy.
“We don’t just look for good dancers to be on our team, we focus on confidence, energy and good personalities for potential new members,” Abernathy said.
Abernathy and other Poize members plan on returning next semester, even though it will be without Hawkins.
“I think this is the best time that I could have joined Poize,” Abernathy said. “Briana has taught me so much about being a leader and I’ll definitely carry what she’s taught me over into the next year.”
“Poize After Dark 2: A Night in the Wild” will be on Monday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Forum Hall. The event is free to attend.
“I hope these events and performances continue after I’m gone,” Hawkins said. “They are just good chances to show the university that we can not only dance but coordinate with each other through good teamwork.”