RMIT Dance announces annual ‘Bust A Groove’ dance competition

RMIT’s annual ‘Bust A Groove’ dance competition is back and in-person this year! 

The free event will run on Wednesday, 25 May 2022 from 12pm -2pm.

The competition will have three categories; best solo, best duo and one-on-one battle divisions in varying styles. Anyone looking to compete is able to register here! 

Before applying, have you considered attending free weekly RMIT Dance classes in preparation to be crowned RMIT’s number one dancer for 2022? Let’s have a look into what RMIT dance offers for students interested in dance!

12pm – 1pmSalsa (with a touch of bachata and tango)Kpop (real routines used by your favourite kpop idols)
HD EntertainmentJohnathon Liu
1pm – 2pmLatin and Ballroom (chacha, salsa and rumba)Choreography (hip hop, street and club style influence)
HD EntertainmentTrevor Santos

Arna Singleton

As the Creative Program Producer for RMIT Student Life, Arna works under the activities branch as the heart of RMIT Dance. She has looked after RMIT Dance since its establishment in 2011, taking over after the founder, Kat, had to withdraw her commitments due to having a baby at the time. 

Arna describes the first classes being held “down on Elizabeth street, at a hub on weekends”, implying its initial inaccessibility for students. Once she got involved, she made it her goal to “bring [dance classes] to when students are actually on campus”, hence why the classes are now run at lunchtime in RMIT’s Activity Space (Building 8, Level 3 of the city campus).

Photo credits: via Victorian Dance Festival website

Arna Singleton, Creative Program producer for RMIT Student Life, manages RMIT Dance since establishment and Creative Director of The Legacy & Co dance company.

On top of running RMIT Dance, Arna leads her own professional dance company, “The Legacy & Co” as Creative Director, which is one of the reasons why she doesn’t teach open dance classes anymore. However, she says:

“That’s why we have Trevor Santos and Johnathon Liu in, because they are open class teachers and at the top of their game. Here we are bringing them to RMIT for students to experience on campus and not having to spend extra money”

She also takes time to express her gratitude for HD Entertainment, who run the Salsa and Latin Ballroom classes. She says, “HD Entertainment are the peak of what they do. They’re all really encouraging teachers too, it’s really exciting to bring what’s outside in the dance community to RMIT”.

When I asked Arna what she wanted students to take away from these classes, she replied, “I really want students to have this incredible memory of being on campus”. Expressing her wish for students to know that they “weren’t just studying but were involved in something that brought themselves joy…and that they allowed dance to be part of their lives”.

Trevor Santos

Beginner choreography instructor, Trevor, has been part of the Melbourne cast of Jagged Little Pill Australia, performed his original piece, ‘100 Haikus’, performed at the Australian Open, worked for artists such as Timomatic, and is an occasional instructor at Passion Studios, Ascendants Dance Company studios, O2 Studios and The Legacy & Co. 

Photo credits: Cameron Grant

Trevor Santos shown above, during his performance of his original contemporary piece, “100 Haikus” at Dancehouse in 2021.

RMIT Dance was not established during Trevor’s time in university, however he was personally scouted by Arna, who he grew up watching at dance competitions. He has been teaching beginner choreography classes for the program since it launched in 2011. Trevor says, “teaching is mainly my love for dance because I feel like I can connect with people better”. Expressing how fulfiling it is to see students “progress in a class and see how much they sit in their bodies more, how much they feel like they know themselves a little more everytime”.

RMIT Dance bridges the financial gap between those interested in dance and access to professional dance classes, with Trevor saying, “class prices have jumped like crazy, it’s $22 now for an hour class”. He does encourage aspiring dancers and those interested in dance to join an open class, but advises students to absorb as much as they can to get their money’s worth. 

Trevor explains that in the arts, creatives train so hard to prepare for a job, but once hired, they forget to continue educating themselves.

“I’m here to educate. RMIT Dance is a good reminder that I’m teaching a class to educate kids that don’t know how to dance or have an interest in dance and want to learn about their bodies..within their time at Uni” – Trevor Santos

He closes by explaining that RMIT Dance is a “gateway” into the dance world but “constant training, continual maintenance” is key!

Pauline Papa 

Pauline, a first year Bachelor of Business Marketing student, explained her exposure to dance has been through playing Zumba, learning YouTube dance routines and from growing up watching movies like “Step Up”. Prior to RMIT Dance, she had never been in an in-person dance class. She says, “I always thought it was really cool how people could move and express their emotions”, she knew that dancing was something she wanted to do. 

“One of the reasons I chose RMIT is because I knew they had free dance classes” – Pauline Papa

At first she was prepared for a dance class with an awkward or serious atmosphere, to her surprise, her first beginner choreography dance class was the complete opposite. She felt comfortable and uplifted by her peers, it became something she looked forward to in the week, so much so that it “felt weird” not attending classes during mid-semester break. 

She continues by saying, “I love Trevor’s teaching style, he makes it comfortable for newer people because the choreography is challenging and not too hard”. Pauline encourages anyone interested in joining RMIT Dance weekly classes to just join because it’s free, and that if you show up once and never again it’s completely fine, “at least you won’t have any regrets”.

Find out how to get involved:

RMIT Dance ‘Bust A Groove’ Registration

RMIT Dance class Info Page


Article written by Nurul Asyiqin Sanif

Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!

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