Frequently Asked Questions

What is Sugarplum?

Sugarplum is a student-led and audition-based dance group at Dartmouth College. Stylistically, we focus on contemporary and jazz but also cultivate adjacent styles including lyrical, jazz funk, and heels.

When are auditions for Sugarplum?

We hold auditions with three other dance groups (Sheba, Ujima and Fusion) on the first Sunday of Fall term at the Alumni Gym.

Is Sugarplum also a social group?

Sugarplum is as much a social group as it is a dance group. For many of us, Sugarplum was the first place we felt comfortable freshman year and where we met our first role models at Dartmouth. Other than just generally hanging out and having a good time together during the week, the directors and the social committee work together to plan socials ranging from apple picking to movie nights to ice skating on Occom Pond! We are also committed to integrating our freshmen into Sugarplum and the Dartmouth community overall and work especially hard in the Fall and Winter terms to plan activities to help our new dancers feel at home.

What are some of the cool things unique to Sugarplum?

Sugar has a bunch of annual traditions and group initiatives that help us bond as a group and strengthen the entire campus dance community. For example…

  • We host an annual senior showcase at the Hopkins Center for the Arts where we perform three sets of the dances we worked on throughout the year
  • Each winter we have an annual photoshoot in a different location on campus
  • Sugar plans Dance Formal every spring, which is a big party where all dance groups on campus are invited
  • We bring a few guests artists to campus throughout the year to host workshops or teach us choreograph. Past guests include Ashlé Dawson, Hector Lopez, and Amy Gardner
  • Sugar annually plans Saussy, a dance showcase for all student-run groups that takes place in Collis Commonground

How can I prepare for auditions?

Dancers should bring a water bottle and some snacks for the day. Comfortable athletic attire is recommended and you should bring anything you may need for a solo such as turners, ballet flats, pointe shoes, sneakers, or tap shoes. For the second round of auditions, we will ask you to perform 30 to 60 second solos. You will be asked to perform twice and it is your choice whether you want to do the same solo, a different one, or even improv!

What if I’ve never done some of the styles or danced before at all? 

Totally fine! Sugarplum and all the other groups encourage every dancer to try their best and try something new.

What is the time commitment for Sugar? When are practices? 

Most student-led groups rehearse three times a week, two hours per rehearsal. Sugarplum specifically practices Mondays and Wednesdays 6 PM to 8 PM and Sundays 10AM to 12PM every week, not including extra tech time prior to performances or extra rehearsals leading up to our senior showcase.

How does choreography work?

All of our dances are student choreographed! You do not need to choreograph, but choreography slots are open to all members of the group. One thing that puts Sugar apart from the other student-led dance groups is that we often have freshmen interested in choreographing their first term who get the opportunity to do so.

How often does Sugarplum perform? 

Sugarplum tends to perform at least three times a term, which generally includes one or two frat shows and one stage show. We are also very lucky to be the only student-led group that has a solo stage performance in the Moore Theater every year dedicated to our wonderful seniors. Check out our last showcase here! Our dancers also get the opportunity to perform as backup dancers for the Dartmouth Idol finals and occasionally participate in off-campus performances, like at the Aidron Duckworth Museum.

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