Williston-based hip-hop crew to perform (3/4/10)

Urban Dance Complex at Higher Ground on Friday

March 4, 2010

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

A group of dancers based in Williston will offer a modern twist on the classic story of Romeo and Juliet on Friday.


    Courtesy photo
Urban Dance Complex dancers rehearse for Friday’s performance of ‘The Story’ at Higher Ground in South Burlington.

More than 40 dancers from Urban Dance Complex, or UDC, will perform “The Story” — a hip-hop version of the musical “West Side Story” — at Higher Ground in South Burlington.

“For the past five years, we’ve turned standard musicals into hip-hop musicals,” UDC owner and dance instructor Sarah Cover said.

Cover, a dancer whose mother was an actress and singer, grew up around musicals.

“For me, it seems like a very natural transition to bring how I grew up and things I learned from my family into what I do now,” she said. “It also gives kids the opportunity to perform, and they really deserve that. These kids work so hard.”

UDC, located on Krupp Drive, is a dance studio focused on hip-hop and jazz funk dance.

“The types of classes that other studios offer in addition (to standard dance classes) are sort of our main base,” Cover said. “Urban dance is our focus. It’s what we do and what we’re good at.”

Cover also offers a pre-professional program to prepare students who want to go into a career in dance.

The dancers in “The Story” represent the upper tiers of UDC’s more than 200 students.

Cover said the performance will be a little edgier than some of the other shows, given the storyline, but she tried to keep as much violence as possible out of it.

“She made it a more modern story told through hip-hop dance,” said dancer Nureen Wohl, who will play Maria.

Wohl, a Williston resident and junior at Champlain Valley Union High School, also participated in last year’s show, a hip-hop take on “The Wizard of Oz” called “The O.Z.”

“Everyone loved the show last year, so I hope everyone will love it this year, too,” Wohl said.

Wohl, a lifelong dancer, took her first class at UDC four years ago, when the studio opened.

“I just really fell in love with hip-hop,” Wohl said. “Hip-hop is a great way to express emotions, and it’s music I really like and listen to all the time.”

UDC dancers are scheduled to perform at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Friday.

“People should come and support local art,” Cover said. “These are local kids really working hard, and it’s a nice show.”


For more information or to buy tickets to “The Story,” visit www.highergroundmusic.com.