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A craze … a phenomenon … 'The Interlude Dance'
Story by Sara Wesselmann, UNI University Relations online magazine & public relations assistant
The UNI "Interlude Dance" receives national attention
Joining the craze is as easy as learning six simple steps.
1. Warm your hands up around the fire.
1a. Clap your hands at the appropriate time
2. The Interlude
4. The ninja robot
5. Fist pumps, starting at the floor
6. The revenge of the Interlude
The emotion that University of Northern Iowa students Ian Goldsmith, Tyler Wright and Scott Connerley experienced when their dance, called "The Interlude Dance," went from a simple boogie to a college phenomenon was one of amazement and awe.
UNI's Interlude Dance is a set of moves created and choreographed by Goldsmith, a junior psychology and theatre major; Wright, a junior teaching education and training major; and Connerley, a senior history major. The motives and moves behind it have more of a story than you might imagine.
The Interlude Dance began as a simple arm movement started by Wright in 2007. From there, Goldsmith and Connerley, who spent a summer studying abroad in China, added more dance moves to the mix.
"We never really sat down to create a dance … it just kind of happened," said Goldsmith. "We both naturally did the same type of moves at every part of the song, and eventually, we solidified what we were going to do at each part.
"The popularity started when we came back from China. We taught the other resident assistants in Campbell during summer training, who then turned around and taught their residents."
Debuting on Jan. 21 at a UNI women's basketball game, The Interlude Dance brought more than 75 students to the game, and UNI's Athletic Department played the techno song "Interlude" by the band Attack! Attack! There, the dance craze hit UNI.
"The dance does a great job of showing how excited and unified UNI can be," said Goldsmith. "It gives the students a positive sense of identity, and everyone gets really excited about it. It works especially well for athletic events because it pumps up the crowd and gives both the audience and team more energy. In fact, UNI men's basketball head coach Ben Jacobson said he called an early time out during Saturday's game so we could do the Interlude because the team needed to be energized!"
TC, UNI's mascot, said, "The Interlude Dance gives me an opportunity to show off my dance skills, and I love that I get to participate in something that is student-driven. I get excited about anything that promotes passion and enthusiasm for UNI."
Gaining national attention on Sport Illustrated's website, NBC and Yahoo sports, and YouTube videos at each game it was featured, the dance is bigger than what Goldsmith, Wright, Connerley and the student body ever imagined.
"I never thought it would become a big trend," said Connerley. "I remember joking with Ian about it becoming the next Macarena or Cha-Cha Slide or something like that. I never really thought it would happen. Now I'm just wondering how big it could get."
"I never dreamt the dance would get this big," said Wright. "Who would've thought that what started as a kid who just wanted to get his groove on to a good techno beat could create something that has become one of the biggest trends to hit college campuses in a long time."
As for the future of the dance craze, the boys aren't quite sure.
"We don't know what the future holds for the dance. I could see it continuing to spread," said Wright.
But what they do know is that UNI's Connecting Alumni to Students (CATS) organization is including The Interlude Dance in the UNI Traditions Challenge Handbook, which is a "must-do" list of campus activities that students should participate in before graduation.
"I would love to see the dance continue to spread and do what it has already done, which is spread unity and joy," said Goldsmith.
"I think the dance shows the creativity and enthusiasm that the creators have for the university. The opportunities and ties to the athletic events are terrific. There's no question that the dance creators and student body have had a large impact on the basketball program this year," said Jacobson.
Watch an instructional video of the dance, led by Goldsmith.
Watch the dance performed during the UNI vs. Wichita State white out.