Sanctify, a hip-hop dance group that has performed on campus in the past, recently conducted auditions and now has more than 12Â members.
The group’s mission is to praise the Lord through hip-hop dance, not to change ACU’s policy on dancing, said Tom Craig, the group’s sponsor, and Teri Wilkerson, the group’s adviser.
“I’m really impressed with the talent we have. I’ve never seen so much dancing at ACU. I think it’s really a step forward,” said Joshua Cook, freshman musical theater major from Abilene. “It’s really changing some things and making new things happen.”
Sanctify’s first performances were Oct. 1-2 in Cullen Auditorium. The group began with between eight and nine students, but after auditions its numbers jumped to around 14.
Eean Cochran, freshman musical theater major from Fort Worth, was one of the students selected from the pool of dancers at Sunday’s audition. He said he learned about the auditions through the Dance Discovery Studio.
“The auditions were great; a lot of people showed up,” said Cochran.”We did fun, fast-paced dancing.”
Cochran said Sanctify expects to conduct a couple of shows in Cullen Auditorium this year. The group also hopes to perform at Sing Song and FilmFest in the spring.
“We just want open minds,” Cochran said. “Dancing is not just a thing – it’s a passion. It’s something I do to make people happy and to open minds to dancing with purpose and passion.”
The group performs mostly fast-paced themed dancesalong with lyrical hip-hop and contemporary pieces, cook said. Members focus on a verse that tells a story and try to present that message in their dance.
“We want to get people to understand that hip-hop isn’t all just the vulgar things we hear on the radio and stuff,” said Cook. “There is actually Christian hip-hop out there. There are people trying to spread the message through the type of modern music that we listen to.”