Refined/Undignified expands its impact by adding a new dance team

Kayla Malanka | Nov 25, 2013
Team members for the RU Blitz team from left to right are Matt Reeb, Matthew Newton, Jesse Gullage, Sammy Gullage, and John Scott.  Team members for the RU Blitz team from left to right are Matt Reeb, Matthew Newton, Jesse Gullage, Sammy Gullage, and John Scott. Team members for the RU Blitz team from left to right are Matt Reeb, Matthew Newton, Jesse Gullage, Sammy Gullage, and John Scott.

How much is too much, and what happens when the use of technology becomes a substitute for reality?

These are just a few questions explored by Briercrest College and Seminary’s new Refined/Undignified  (RU) dance team, Blitz, through their dance show Restart.

“We’re not calling for people to throw out all of their devices, but rather we are hoping for families to unite, our society to become less distracted, and for people to have more fulfilling and genuine relationships with one another,” Mathew Newton, Blitz member, said.  

“We hope that our show will encourage youth and adults alike to engage real life, have fun with people face-to-face, and enjoy the world around them - instead of retreating into another world to find meaning and life there.”

Restart is a 30 minute dance routine that explores the darker side of technology and invites viewers to look at their own lives and start asking themselves about how they are using technology.

“Although technology is an amazing tool we can make use of it in our daily lives, we have noticed an alarming trend of teens making technology a substitute for reality,” Newton said.

Blitz, which debuted in September, is an extension of the RU team and was created as a way to be able to travel more and to expand into schools and other areas that the student teams just can’t.

“We’ve been going for a number of years and so far every single team we have had has either been students at Briercrest or Caronport High School or leaders and because of that we have been limited in touring to only weekends, modular weeks or summers. So a big opportunity for us to be able to get into schools is taken away because our students are all in school,” Adrian Webber, director of RU, explained.

“So with the thought of how can we overcome that challenge, we came up with the Blitz team. All the people on the Blitz team have been a part of RU in the past and have also been Briercrest students that have stopped their education or have finished and want to continue on dancing. This way they can travel freely and we can get into the areas our student teams can’t.”

The Blitz team also wants to build more awareness about RU’s Christ centered shows and about Briercrest.   

“For me, it is frustrating that we get booked at a church in Calgary, we go and perform and yet there are thousands of kids in that one mile radius of the church that don’t know we exist, but would love to be there if they only knew. We need to get into places we can introduce ourselves to them and the Blitz team is how,” he said.

Webber said anyone who comes out to watch Blitz can expect a humourous, high-quality performance. 

“With the technology aspect the team has been able to do a really good job finding music that relates to technology and we’ve worked really hard because their kind of main goal is just getting kids attention,” Webber explained.

 “So they used a lot of computer sounding music and use a lot of video game things that will help connect technology to their dancing and really just challenging people where they are in their lives. If they are using it as an escape or using it what it was meant for.”