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Hillside Chats: Phaymus

Phaymus is not looking to be famous. Granted, they did just take a day trip out to New York City to audition for America’s Got Talent, a show that is made for people who seek fame. And yes, the dance team did take home the grand prize that is first place at Showdown this past spring. But Dominique and Lauren, President and Vice President of Phyamus, seek more than just these accomplishments. It’s the bond that the “Pham” garners through these experiences that mean so much more than whatever title or notoriety they’ve received. Hearing these ladies gush about how much their team means to them and how strong their family dynamic is truly serves as testament to that. Get to know what Phaymus is really about.


Ok, so before we get into it, why don’t you guys tell me a little bit about yourselves?

Dom: I’m Dominique Joseph and I’m president of Phaymus this year. I am a senior in A&S, double majoring in psychology and sociology. I’ve been on the team for four years since my freshman year, and it’s only getting better!

Lauren: I’m Lauren Hanley and I’m a senior in the Lynch School of Education, studying elementary education and human development. And I’ve been on Phaymus since freshman year as well, and I’m the vice-president. It’s been a fantastic four years.

What made you guys want to audition for Phaymus in the first place?

Lauren: I was actually procrastinating an assignment *giggles* and I was just gonna go support a friend. It was literally just on a whim and they told you that day if you made it or not. We’ve changed it a lot since then, but they used to tell you that day and i was like “Wait, what?!” I mean I had no dancing experience, maybe dancing at parties or ballet when I was 4 years old but nothing beyond that. So I was in shock. But I stayed on the team to see what happens, and I really enjoyed the family dynamic.

Dom: My story is kind of different hahah, I actually had no intention to try out for Phaymus. I tried out for a couple of different teams, and I ran into a couple of members who told me about it [Phaymus], but it’s not like it was on my agenda for that day. So I was downtown just hanging out and I just said, “You know what, why not?” I showed up late when two thirds of the choreography was already taught. I was in jeans and sandals but I just went in there anyway, did what I had to do, found out right then and there, and I’ve been here ever since.

Photo via Facebook

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Nice! So you’ve both been on the team for four years, how do you think it has changed since your first year?

Dom: I definitely think that as a team, we are always trying to expand and do different things as far as choreography, different dance styles, music genres. We definitely like to try and push the limit. But of course while trying to maintain the typical Phaymus energy we’ve come to be known for. We’ve been trying different things when it comes to bonding too. One thing that I’ve always loved about Phaymus is that our alumni are huge supporters and we definitely want to keep them coming back, especially since it’s our 10 year anniversary this year. So we plan on doing something special next semester.

Lauren: Another big thing about Phaymus is that a lot of members have gone through the “Phaymus system”. Like they started their freshman year and have gone through to senior year. So me, Dom and Jackie, having been on Phaymus since freshman year and now being seniors, we’re able to reflect on it, like what worked in the past and what didn’t, how we can improve, and learning from people that have graduated and that are younger. We’re always in contact with alumni that call us out if something looks a mess and encouraging us, that’s really helped us grow.

Dom: Yeah I think the reason we went to America’s Got Talent is that our alumni told us, “You have to do it, you have to.”

It sounds like your alumni are the ones who really helped you make that huge step to go try out for America’s Got Talent (AGT).

Image courtesy of Alexa Molinaro

Image courtesy of Alexa Molinaro

Dom: They definitely helped push us.

Lauren: We were on board!

Dom: Yeah Lauren and I were on board! I mean, the rest of the e-board was trying to be realistic cause we have two big shows coming up, so like getting to New York and taking practice time out was a lot. But our alumni and everyone that I spoke to said that we have to do it, which pushed us even more.

Lauren: I think something that within our four years has developed is that we’ve looked back at videos of Phaymus when they first started and there would be these level changes and formation changes, and I think that we wanted to embrace that and refocus on it, especially, with showdown last year. I mean I was abroad but when I was looking at it I was like, wow. The formations and everything was just so incredible.

So we touched on this a little bit already but: AGT. That’s a pretty big deal! What was it like auditioning?

Dom: It was ahhhmazing! Just the overall experience was incredible.

How did this all go down to begin with?

Dom: So this woman emails me. I had no clue how she got in contact with me, and I send the entire group a text asking what’s up. And then she went on to commenting on our facebook page so I said to myself, “OK this isn't spam.” So it turns out she’s a talent scout of some sort and I asked how she heard about us and she said she got in contact with BC, which I wasn't going to question. But we had to figure out how we were going to go about making this happen, cause since we've been on this team we have not left this area. Like not even just Massachusetts, but Chestnut Hill. A concern of ours was if we were going to be able to get in and get out [of the audition], so she was able to get us this fast pass. So we basically got to go whenever we wanted and we got to cut the line.

Lauren: There were hundreds of people there.

Dom: So there were so many people and so much talent, and it was really overwhelming.

Lauren: Our team in general just always talks about our family dynamic and I think that that was one of the underlying factors. We wanted to make this trip a bonding experience. Yes, we were very excited about AGT, but realistically we’re students and people pursue this as their career and as their life. So we don’t really see us taking this to higher levels.

Dom: Right, cause who has time for that? We’d have to drop out! But it was more for the experience. Cause we could have auditioned by sending in a tape, but that would take away the whole experience.

Lauren: We definitely got the bonding out of it.

Dom: It was a story for the books.

Lauren: We did a little informal performance in Times Square *laughs* with the music from Sunglass Hut!

Dom: We were just walking by this Sunglass Hut and this DJ is playing music in there and we were just being crazy, so we request our song and he played it, and of course a crowd lines up with their cameras.

Did you put a hat down and get any money?

Dom: No hahah.

Lauren: I actually thought about putting my hat down, but NO WAY is my Phaymus hat ever touching the ground.

Dom: And it was a couple of our members’ first time in New York so we tried doing as much as we could for the time that we had. We went to the red stairs hahah.

Lauren: Don’t even know what the significance of those red stairs is hahah-

Dom: Jay-Z and Alicia Keyes were on those stairs!

Exactly! That’s awesome though. So do you know if you’re gonna be on the show?

Dom: We find out in February or March, because they're touring up until then.

You guys seem like you’re on top of the world coming off a showdown win and doing the AGT thing! How are you going to move forward as a group leading to the next showdown?

Lauren: I think one of our teammates, David, had said this, which I really think embodies our team. He said that Phaymus is a competitive team both with ourselves and with others, and we do want to win. But if we don't win, we will be the people celebrating with the winners.

Image via Instagram

Photo courtesy of Instagram

Dom: Every year after showdown we have so much fun and we love seeing the talent here at BC. So this past year we were just chillin’ waiting for the results and then I hear “ Phaymus” and I was like what?! We knew that we left everything we had on that stage, and we had a good time doing it and that’s all we can ask for. At the end of the day, we all love to dance and we all love each other so there’s nothing better than being able to do that on stage with your team.

Will you bring it next year? (my “Bring It On” moment)

Dom: Of course we’ll bring it.

Lauren: We always bring it!

Dom: Winning is not our top priority. We are Phaymus Dance Entertainment and we are made to entertain. But we’ll bring it, so just wait.


Featured Image courtesy of Facebook


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