USF Students Found Detour Dance Company

Kat Cole, a recent graduate with a BA in English and a minor in dance and performing arts, and Eric Garcia, a performing arts and social justice senior, have already accomplished something pretty spectacular. Together with their USF dance experience and the guidance of their professors, they have created a dance company named Detour Dance.

Their show “Along the Way” debuted last weekend at CounterPULSE. “It made more sense to make a company,” Cole said. “For publicity, it was easier to have a website where people could see what we were doing.”

They applied for a spot in the performing arts and social justice cabaret season. The cabaret they proposed—Inhabiting Spaces—was only the second dance cabaret ever produced. It now resides as the first piece in their company’s debut show. Their show is three modern dance pieces that began at USF and a dance film that premiered at the show. The film, “Drift,” featured two hitchhikers in a ghost town.

Jocelyn Hall, a senior dance student, watched the show and said, “As a friend of both Eric and Kat, it was great to see them branch past USF and create something on their own. It’s kind of inspiring when you think about it, because they’re the same age as me. Overall, the show was great. I’ve seen the first piece but it was refreshing to see it again. It was just fun to see all of their hard work and their styles come together to create this show.”

“Drift” was the highlight of the show. Hall agrees, “I like the chicken part the best,” referencing a moment when the hitchhikers (Kat and Eric) randomly pass a chicken on the road that decides to join them on their journey. The film is about a journey but through the lens of modern dance. Their pieces represent everyday people and everyday situations; therefore, the pieces featured everyday movement. Movement such as a simple hug at one moment conveyed so much emotion behind the gesture. The pieces came alive in the details like flexed feet and free flowing motion.

Detour Dance has performed at various venues across the city, from USF to Berkeley. “It’s insane how in the past two months doors have been opened for us,” says Garcia. Since last year, The Garage, a dance and theatre venue, and a middle school is interested in having them perform.

As for how they came up with a name, Garcia said, “The name came after everything. We sat down and pulled common themes. We like to look at everyday spaces.” Cole added, “We were looking at roadsides and things people see everyday.” Each piece is unique in that they use everyday objects and incorporate each object in their dance. From thumb wars and dancing on a bench to communicating with feet, their dancing relates to all audience members. “We pride ourselves on our quirky, detailed movement…We pull from pedestrian movements,” said Garcia. “It doesn’t necessarily have to be like a literal moment, it can be little movements.”

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