By Aurea Cariou Walking down to the lower atrium at the start of the 2018 Fall semester, I saw tables lined up like a science fair, crowded by many students. Getting closer, I realized the Dawson clubs were presenting themselves to the student body. I walked around a little bit, curious to see what clubs Dawson had. I then saw a table with a banner indicating it was the Improvisation Club. “Improvisation... sounds interesting enough,” I thought to myself.
I walked up to the two people at the table: Isaac Vergara, club president, and Myriam Glenza, vice president. I told them I wasn't sure if I was interested in having an executive role or if I would want to be a player. I wrote my email down for more information, and that was it: like signing my soul off to devil (only better), I made my best decision since coming to Dawson.
The Dawson Improvisation Club, back at Dawson once again, created a familial bond between its thirty-or-so new members. Isaac Vergara, a Pure and Applied student in his third semester, had been eager to be a part of the Improvisation Club when first joining Dawson, only to realize it had been disbanded after its founding members had graduated. It was only a year later – this Fall semester – that he was contacted by new student Myriam Glenza, who wanted to start up the club again. "I didn't think we would get more than fifteen people to join the club", says Isaac, who is very pleased that so many students have chosen to participate. The club space, although a little small for so many people, is now a home to those who joined.
The club is composed of two performance teams: Le French, francophone and official competition team, and Le Smack, bilingual and reserve team. The club has matches against other CEGEPs, as well as between its own two teams. Composed of many executive roles (event and game planers, photographers, emcees, graphic artists, technicians, sellers, social media managers, etc.), the club is a safe and fun place for its members and performers. Incredible bonds are formed while putting events and fundraisers together, assisting the matches, and performing on stage, such as on the successful first match which occurred on November 1st.
"We have a lot of roles and are always looking for people who want to help organize the events", says the club president. For those wanting to join the teams, it is also quite easy, as anyone can ask a club member for information, or directly send us a message on Facebook (ID- Improvisation Club).
David Slilaty, assistant captain of Le Smack, says it best: "Everyone's super nice. It feels like we've been buds for a while when most of us met a few weeks ago. We're all bros." Even the team coaches (a total of three, including two of the original founders of the club from 2014) are part of this big family. "Our coaches set the tone and environment, they're awesome," Slitaly continues to say. The club vice president, Myriam Glenza, had contacted them to ask them to help her put the club back together. Joey MacIntosh, one of the two coaches for Le Smack and founder of The Misfits (the name of the original Dawson Improvisation team), says this is the first year so many people have joined the club and are putting everything they have into it, claiming "it was a small club before, but now it feels more like a family”. It is thanks to the coaches that students with no prior experience can join the teams, open up, and see themselves improve.
Anyone interested in joining the teams is encouraged to look for us in the halls or club space. "If you think you're funny, or even if you're not, you can learn skills, so come on down", Slitaly added. The Improvisation Club lets the students be responsible of what they want to accomplish together, whether it's having a candy sale, a match, or just a good time at the club space.
Slitaly admits he was originally nervous for his first match, "I was completely mortified before the match, but in the end it was a big old slap time. It went way better than I expected, everyone had a lot of fun funking around”. Isaac Vergara of Le French also agreed the match was a great experience, and was surprised by how playing with the other team had turned out: "I was really proud to see them together, and the way they have such good chemistry. I kind of felt like a proud father."
Cassandra Pedicelli, a Studio Art student in her fifth semester at Dawson, was an audience member that night and noticed that "the atmosphere at the match was very light hearted. The audience had a genuine good time and the club members had really good chemistry”. When asked if she would come to the future games, she answered that she most definitely would.
Le French IG: @le.french.dawson
Le Smack IG: @le.smack.dawson