Harvard Dancers 'Funk' on Club

Bright Lights. Big City. "Downtown" Julie Brown and More...

"You go to Harvard, right?"

Frank Harper, a second-year Harvard law student, seems unfazed by the common question, even though his questioner in this case is MTV's "Downtown" Julie Brown, and the setting is the flashy New York City Palladium.

"Harvard Law, actually," he answers calmly.

Brown, garbed in a black catsuit, presses on in her obscure transatlantic accent, "What law are you practicing?"

"Probably civil rights," Harper answers, and Brown smiles. She wiggles her eyebrows suggestively. "I need to talk to you about some civil rights, actually," she says. "But we won't get heavy right now, darling. You're here for fun, so enjoy yourself."


Wubba wubba wubba and always God bless...

A Refreshing Change

Frank Harper is one of two Harvardians who once a month swap backpacks and briefcases for funky hats, bustiers, MTV baseball caps and New York City subway tokens. Harper and J.J. Talvy '91 are both regulars on Club MTV, the video music video channel's hip hot daily dance show.

Under the bright lights of New York's popular dance club, the Palladium, Talvy and Harper say they get a welcome break from Harvard Square.

"It's just a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of Harvard life," says Talvy, who is an English concentrator and a dance teacher for CityStep.

"I love it," Harper echoes. "It breaks up the monotony of all that work."

Talvy's dedication to dancing goes way back. She has taken ballet, tap and jazz since junior high school. But it was the encouragement of the kids in her CityStep class last year that motivated her to audition for Club MTV, she says. In September, she won a spot on the snow. Since then, she has nown to New York almost once a month for two-day, 15-segment taping sessions. Harper joined the show two years ago, on a dare.

To each taping, Talvy and Harper bring 15 changes of clothing--and large water bottles. "It's like a big dance marathon," says Talvy. "Basically, it's like slave labor. It's grueling because Julie Brown takes forever to change her clothes. She has to look perfect, and we sit there waiting for her."

Still, the gyrating bodies and multicolored spandex of Club MTV exert a strange lure. "It's weird how I prioritize that thing," says Harper. "I've gone down [to New York] the day before finals."

A Parallel Universe

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