Mos.A.I.C, UVU’s renowned hip hop company, has reached a large amount of success in their short run of seven years. They competed in their first competition on Feb. 8-10 — and came out victorious. Their success wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the dedication that has kept the group strong since the start.
In 2011, set against a backdrop of shower curtains and Christmas lights, Ashley Kimsey and her hip hop II class performed to an audience of 200 people at the end of spring semester. They weren’t called Mos.A.I.C., yet, but already had what makes the company successful — passion.
The dancers decided to put on a concert to showcase the routines they learned over the course of the class. Kimsey invited a DJ and local companies to perform along with them, and the show received an impressive audience for only being advertised by word of mouth.
A year later, Mos.A.I.C. was officially formed and the group has come a long way since their humble beginnings. Now, their end of semester concerts at the Ragan Theatre run for three nights with stage equipment and lights that match the quality of the team’s talent.
Mos.A.I.C. is unique because it’s one of the few collegiate hip hop companies in the states. For the first time this year, the group was split up into two teams, Mosaic I and II. Their years of hard work paid off when Mos.A.I.C. II competed in their very first competition this month at the Monsters of Hip Hop in Las Vegas and came out in first place.
Savanna Caver, a junior in psychology and co-president of Mos.A.I.C., said that the group worked hard to find sponsors and, in the end, were able to raise $10,000 to pay for costumes and for dancers to attend Monsters of Hip Hop.
“This was huge for Mos.A.I.C. We had never competed before and had never been able to raise that much money,” Caver said. “We as a team did it independently with no outside help. It was awesome that everyone on the team pulled their weight and it ended up being so worth it.”
The Monsters of Hip Hop was a convention as well, so the company benefited from taking advanced master classes from top dancers. At the competition, Mos.A.I.C. put their best foot forward, dancing to a fast-paced number choreographed by Marcquet Hill and Natalie Keys set to White Tee by Dem Franchize Boyz.
“Our team was the largest team there. It was cool performing on that stage in front of all those amazing dancers,” Sadie Salisbury, a senior criminal justice major and co-president of Mos.A.I.C., said. “We were all very sore after that weekend. We trained multiple dance styles and learned a ton of new insight from Monsters.”
What makes Mos.A.I.C. strong is their sense of community and creativity. This can be seen in their name, which represents the idea that each member is an individual “mosaic tile” that makes up their innovative company. Mosaic is also an acronym for Most Artistic Inspired Creators — and their bi-annual concerts are proof that they have earned this title.
Katie Burg, a senior studying community health and a member of the Mos.A.I.C. II team, said she loves that the company is like a family.
“Show week is one of my favorite things in the entire year because of how close we all are as a team,” Burg said. “We spend basically all week together practicing and preparing and it’s just fun to always be with your friends.”
Currently, the main focus of the company is preparing for this semester’s concert, which they will perform on April 4-6 in the Ragan Theatre.
Arts & Culture Editor