Club Profile: Original Expressions

Original Expressions is a dance club which employs various styles of urban dance including hip-hop and various cultural styles. They offer all students a welcoming space to express themselves and share their passion and love for dance (courtesy of Natalie Hayes).

Original Expressions is a dance organization at Geneseo that offers students a mix of different styles of urban dance. Students who are actively involved in this organization provide a happy, welcoming environment to participants who may or may not have previous dancing experience. 

Five years ago, students realized that there was a lack of variety among the dance clubs at Geneseo. These students chose to start a club, one that both had flexibility and examined an array of dance, according to OGX co-president junior Melissa Maliniak

“[The organization] started just because they noticed a lack on campus for this type of dance,” Maliniak said. “People wanted an outlet to do this dance, this style of dance, and have this very open environment for dance. So, they started OGX.” 

This club went from six people to at least 30 members, each of whom has an interest in these different dance styles.  

Public relations representative senior Camryn Mancuse described the club’s advocacy for inclusivity among its members.

“We really encourage inclusivity among our members. We are always cheering each other on, no matter the level of experience,” Mancuse said. “And we know a lot of people are beginners, so we try to make sure they’re comfortable and feel at home. And it’s like a family.” 

While other college dance organizations focus on a specific style of dance to teach students, members of the club learn different urban dances. This means anything from hip-hop to a Caribbean style called Soca. 

Maliniak elaborated on the styles of dance that the club focuses on most. 

“We do a lot of urban dance. We do basic hip-hop, we do Latino, anything,” Maliniak said. “We do African dance, we do Soca.” 

This club aims to reach students who question their social involvement in the school, who may want to experience something new or who may choose to rediscover a passion for dance or to pursue one. 

 “The purpose of OGX is to share our love for urban dance with the Geneseo campus and community, and we also want to welcome students who maybe don’t fit in on campus or in other dance groups,” Maliniak said. “We let everyone and anyone join and no matter the level, no matter the dance experience, to just learn to love dance and [to] share the love for dance.” 

Club members notice their audience’s love for the dances and for the members’ spirit, especially at school performances. Through these performances, OGX makes its definitive mark on this campus.

“I think we have a strong presence on campus, people seem to love our infectious energy. We love to perform at events,” Maliniak said. “We always perform at Kwanza dinner, and then Holiday Jubilee, Relay—Relay we get a lot of cheers from, it’s a lot of fun. It’s one of my favorite ones.”

OGX holds its events in partnership with Geneseo Late Knight with cultural clubs like the Latino Student Association and the African Student Association.  

Starting in the fall, students are welcome to try out for the club and attend the interest meeting. Until then, an OGX spring showcase will be held on April 13.