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Project Fresh Nation hosts charity competition

Claire Stephens | Friday, April 29, 2011

“Skilled or Learned, Join our Army.” This first motto of Project Fresh was coined less than a decade ago, when a group of friends got together to learn and teach each other how to break-dance. In just the past three years, the club has grown from 10 members to over 50 active participants, and now refers to themselves as the “PFresh Nation.”


Today marks the 3rd Annual Project Fresh Show, entitled “Resonance.” Project Fresh, as well as dance groups all over campus, will be performing in Stepan Center starting at 7p.m.

The beginning and end of the show this year will have freestyles in the crowd with a live DJ. Kyle Higdon, choreographer for three of the dances in the PFRESH set, is hoping for a participatory crowd.


“The Project Fresh Show is a very interactive event with a club atmosphere,” Higdon said. “We want the crowd to feel involved and we encourage a rowdy audience yelling for their favorite group. It energizes us on stage.”


A competitive format shapes the show this year. The competition is open to all student clubs, with half of the proceeds will go to the Boys and Girls Club of South Bend and the other half going to the winning group’s charity of choice.


While the show is first and foremost a show for charity, it also raises awareness of the diverse dance groups on campus and gives them the opportunity to showcase all of their hard work. Natasha Bergstedt, co-president of the club, explained that the show has changed from simply exhibition pieces by performing clubs to a competition to make the charity aspect a more defining and inclusive theme.


“This decision was made based on the knowledge that there are many talented dancers in the ND community who do not have the time to be in a performing arts club. We hope that having more clubs involved will help to introduce the audience to other dance styles they may not be aware of around campus.”


Some of the groups performing tonight are FASO, TransPose, TroopND, Notre Dame Pom Squad, Ballet Folklorico, KPop, Hawaii Club, Dance Co. and First Class Steppers.


Project Fresh also represents great diversity in both its members and its styles of dance. The club hopes to educate the Notre Dame, Holy Cross, Saint Mary’s, and South Bend Community of the various dance styles of hip-hop including breakdancing, krumping, popping, locking, waving and more.


Throughout the year, members of the group have come to love Project Fresh. Carrie Ko, the 2011-2012 treasurer, has found lasting friendships among the diversity of the group.


“Pfresh is my life and I am proud to belong to the family.”


Project Fresh is open to all Notre Dame and St. Mary’s students, as well as some alumni guest performers and choreographers. Danielle Gies, next year’s PFun Committee chair, is choreographing an exhibition piece with Hunter Speese, next year’s Project Fresh Show Committee Chair. Gies encourages dance lovers to join.


“Project Fresh is one of the best clubs on campus. Anyone can join, no matter what their skill level. The only requirement is that you want to dance!”


The club has performed in cultural and fine arts events across campus this year including Asian Allure, Black Images, Fiestang and Latin Expressions, as well as Seoul’d Out, Digitize and The Shirt Unveiling.


Kaitlin “Fiasco” Tiechman, a student at St. Mary’s in the club, has enjoyed her time with Project Fresh, saying, “Pfresh is a great way to relax, dance and forget what’s troubling you. Hip-hop saved my life.”


Those attending have high expectations of the Pfresh Nation, and can expect it to be a great show by all performers. Phil Diamond, a Notre Dame junior, had only positive things to say about the group.


“Pfresh is the greatest invention since the Cinnabon.” 


What: 3rd Annual Project Fresh Show — “Resonance”

Where: Stepan Center

When: Friday, April 29th 7p.m., doors open at 6:30p.m.

How much: Advance: $5 students, $7 non-students. At the door: $7 students, $10 non-students

Learn more: [email protected]