Heart and soul
Not everyone enjoys running on a stationary treadmill for hours at a time, and senior music education major Montel Butler knows that.
Butler, the Black Student Union Soul Dance Team co-caption, said he wanted to step up a workout with dance. He wanted to create a routine that would bring people together for fun as well as burn off calories.
Teaming up with Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Butler and the BSU Soul Dance Team taught a class comparable to Zumba Friday afternoon called “AKtive AKAsion.”
“I’m really honored to be hosting an AKtive AKAsion event,” Butler said. “A few years ago, not a lot of people knew about Soul. It was known, but it wasn’t very prevalent on campus.”
Many students may recognize Butler and the Soul Team as the dancers that take the stage in Paws on weeknights.
Sophomore Staci Kohen, a Resident Assistant, said she loves watching the dancers in Paws and admires their abilities.
“I have a resident who’s a dancer and we always go back [to our residence hall] and are like ‘Let’s learn that dance,’” Kohen said.
The team performs everything from rhythmic beats and stomps to fast-paced hip-hop routines.
“I want to help people realize that there’s more to life than just sitting in the gym. I’m not the type of person who enjoys just running on the treadmill or lifting weights. You can still be active, have a good time, and express yourself all at once,” Butler said.
Butler said he joined the Soul Dance Team his freshman year and was introduced to a close-knit family who shared their love for fierce dance moves.
He soon worked his way to the top, becoming the co-captain of the Soul Dance Team.
Butler said he feels that the dance team leaves nothing but passion on the dance floor while maintaining a healthy lifestyle, something they try to share with others like at the AKtive AKAsion event.
The Soul Dance Team is a second family for Butler and all his fellow members, a home away from home, he said.
Butler said attributes the close bonds of the members to the team’s success.
“They’re always there for me when I need it,” Butler said. “They’re always a support system. Everyone is warm, loving and caring.”