Unofficial Project, BU’s second-oldest dance team, hosted one of the first dance shows in person since 2020, Ovrdrv – but that does not tell the whole story. Practicing and performing a stylistic blend of hip hop, contemporary fusion, dance hall, and Afrobeats styles, Unofficial Project values variety. Not only do they perform dance, but they understand the power of community. “We are a family,” says Matthew Wallace, a PR graduate student who has been on the team since his freshman year of undergrad at BU.
Unofficial Project works to bridge the gap between freestyle and hip-hop dancers in Boston. “They don’t get their own opportunity to shine,” Matthew Wallace says about the freestyle community. Although Unofficial Project was unable to make this an element of Ovrdrv this year, they continue to work with the freestyle team on campus, Bullet Proof Funk, to do breakdancing competitions. These include judges and cash prizes and help promote freestyle as a unique yet valuable genre in the wider dance community.
Online sales sold out in just 20 minutes and disappointed fans walked away as the hall reached capacity. Youth dance groups invited from the community excitedly danced and gathered early, not even noticing the impressed eyes in the ticket line. Dancers were wide-eyed as fans filled the hall, eager to perform their choreography from the last two years. “It had been so long since I had an audience,” says Wallace. “We worked really hard to provide a platform for the large [choreography] – for [teams] to showcase it.” Unofficial Project is unique in that each member of the team can participate as not only a dancer but also a choreographer. The group often lets many members showcase their ideas and votes on what dances to practice.
Unofficial Project may not be as well-known, but Matthew Wallace hopes more people on campus will begin to recognize the group. This event was a huge showcase of their logistical and dance skills. Their team embraces dancers not only from BU but Boston as a whole. This allows members to feel more immersed in the city’s dance community and learn from diverse people. Outside of dancing, they have a community within the club and love to explore new restaurants and international food in the city together.
Remember the name Unofficial Project when you show up to Splash and look forward to joining a new crew of people next semester. It is not just a dance team, it is an inclusive family.
“We want to make sure everyone has time to shine on stage,” says Wallace, “I just want everyone to go H.A.M. on stage. Enthusiasm goes a long way.”
Jenna Maurer, Staff Writer
Jenna Maurer is in her final semester as a graduate student in the M.S. in Media Science program. Since graduating from Johns Hopkins University in 2015, she has lived in five different states. Before returning to school at BU, she was the Assistant Director of Admission and Head Alpine Ski Coach at a boarding school in Connecticut. When not pursuing school or internship work, she loves to ski, bike, and hike around New England. Jenna hopes to use communication skills to impact students and families after graduation.