Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Artist Spotlight: 2K2FLY

UMass student dance duo opens for Jack Harlow on Sunday evening for Spring Fest
Courtesy of Portteia Xaraiya

For hip hop dance duo 2K2FLY, winning the spot to open for Jack Harlow at the UPC Spring Concert ‘22 feels like a dream.

“I still can’t believe it’s happening,” sophomore dance and psychology major Kat Lopez rejoiced. “I won’t believe it until after I’m done performing on the stage.”

Lopez and senior dance major Katya Taylor claimed their spot as the spring concert opening act after winning UMass Got Talent on Thursday March 31, 2022. The duo made it through three separate rounds of auditions, making it to the top 10 to perform at the talent show.

“The first rounds of auditions to get into UMass Got Talent we thought, ‘let’s just go for it and see what happens’,” Taylor said. “And when we got into UMass Got Talent we were hungry for it.”

Despite their nerves leading up to the night of the talent show, Taylor and Lopez gave an unstoppable performance showcasing hip hop and contemporary moves.

“Because of how high the prize was, we really wanted this,” Lopez said. “It’s what we’ve been training for all of our lives.”

2K2FLY continued to give it their all as the show went on, making their way to the top three acts until they were selected as the winners.

“We won and we were shocked,” Taylor recalled. “People were coming up and taking pictures with us and we thought, ‘what’s happening?’”

Lopez and Taylor emphasized that dance is not always equally acknowledged compared to other performing arts therefore making their win even more special to the dance duo.

“Hearing that we won and especially for dance, having that support and seeing the recognition that people see in us was really nice,” Lopez said.

For Taylor, hip hop is a relatively new style to her as she taught herself hip hop at 13 years old and took her first official hip hop class a few years later. Taylor grew up training in studio dance including ballet and contemporary. She realized she had a different passion for hip hop and street styles than she ever had for anything else.

Originally training in hip hop, Lopez focused on ballet and contemporary later in her dance career and now describes her own style as a combination of hip-hop and contemporary. Her love for true hip hop remains but now works to formulate both of them together in some way.

Although they had seen each other dance in several performances, the two dancers didn’t meet until the Fall of 2020 when they were both casted in a friends’ senior thesis. They both thought each other were incredible and when they finally were cast in the same piece, they connected and became close friends.

Preparing for the opening act Lopez and Taylor have focused on keeping their energy high as a duo and continuing to support one another, making sure to keep that bond they have when we dance.

“… the creativity, help and support that we have for each other for this entire week,” Lopez said.

2K2FLY plans to bring new moves to their performance to showcase their versatility. The dance duo is grateful for the chance to dance at the spring concert as it could lead to more performing opportunities for the commercial dancers.

“We’re still doing the same vibe we did at UMass Got Talent, but we are adding a new element at the beginning,” Taylor said.

Both Lopez and Taylor appreciate that they get to incorporate dance into their college experience at UMass. “It [dance] helps me through a lot so it’s been a reward,” Lopez said.

Corinne Arel can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @CorinneArel_09.

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