“20 Moves in 10 Seconds”: A Few of My Favorite Things with Hailey Stephens ’23 and Linnéa Selendy ’23


Welcome to “A Few of My Favorite Things” — arts edition! In this series of Q&A interviews, The Bates Student sits down with students involved in the arts on campus to learn about their favorite parts of what they do. Today we’re chatting with Hailey Stephens ’23 and Linnéa Selendy ’23, the current co-presidents of 2BEATS. As Bates’s only hip-hop team, 2BEATS is a joyful community of new and experienced dancers that has been a presence on campus for over 25 years.

Rare are the Bates students who are not already in weekend mode by mid afternoon on Fridays, but the presidency of Bates College’s student-led hip-hop group, 2BEATS, contains two of them. When we sit down at 2:30 for a chat, Hailey Stephens ’23 has just gotten out of class and Linnéa Selendy ’23 is arriving fresh from a meeting, and neither is yet done for the day. Their academic commitments alone are impressive: between the two of them, Stephens and Selendy are completing four majors, a minor and a concentration.

“Yeah, we’re both busy ladies,” Selendy laughs, taking a sip from her sticker-plastered water bottle. The side facing me advertises her involvement in Cold Front, Campus Activities and Traditions, Students Demand Action and Bates’s First-Year Experience, among others. Blazing diagonally across them is a sticker for 2BEATS, of which Selendy and Stephens are co-presidents.

2BEATS, which advertises itself on Instagram as Bates’s “first and only hip-hop dance team,” is entirely student-led and student-choreographed, in contrast to other dance genres at Bates. The team is open to dancers of all experience levels — “you could have 18 years [of experience] and you could have zero, it doesn’t matter,” says Stephens — and backgrounds. They perform at a variety of concerts, events like Snowball and cultural gatherings at Bates, including the annual Sangai Asian Night

Selendy and Stephens themselves demonstrate the club’s diversity. They focus on different areas academically: double-majors in Psychology and English with a Creative Writing concentration; Selendy double-majors in Environmental Studies and Philosophy with a minor in Francophone Studies. On the day we meet, they are dressed differently: Stephens wears jeans and sneakers, Selendy athletic leggings and a Bates Philosophy ballcap (“if anyone asks me who I’m dressed as for Halloween, I say Socrates”). 

Even their geographic backgrounds are unique: Selendy lived in Sweden before moving to the United States in high school, and Stephens was born in Hong Kong, grew up in the Philippines, went to high school in British Columbia, and now lives in Maryland. Regardless of their differences, though, they have both found a joyful home and deep friendship in 2BEATS. Two effusively kind and easygoing people who are committed to carrying that home into the future, Stephens and Selendy told us a few of their favorite things about Bates, about 2BEATS, and about the style of dance that has them performing “20 moves in 10 seconds,” says Stephens, and loving every bit of it.

Favorite thing about hip-hop:

Hip-hop, both Stephens and Selendy say, has space for individuality. “It’s a very accepting community. We don’t say you have to be a certain height or be a certain weight or look a certain way, which I have experienced my whole life being a dancer,” Stephens says.

Selendy agrees, and adds that hip-hop’s tone of embracing diversity extends to the moves themselves. “It’s one of those dances where you can add so much individuality to the moves, which you can’t necessarily do in a ballet class. … [In hip-hop] you can kind of add in your own groove, your own individuality, your own expression.”


Favorite performance with 2BEATS:

“I have two,” says Stephens. During the spring of her sophomore year, she danced with 2BEATS to the song “Singapur ” to one of the group’s first big post-COVID audiences. “The audience was so engaging, so 100%, and the energy was so high,” she says. She also enjoyed the group’s recent performance at the October Back to Bates concert, which “went really well. You could tell that we all felt good about it after because everyone was smiling. We were all out of breath, and hearing us be out of breath together, I knew that everyone had put their best foot forward and had their best time. It felt really good.”

Selendy’s favorite was a piece she performed her first year at Sangai Asia, choreographed by a senior student. The choreographer “was really scary,” Stephens says, but Selendy clarifies: “In the best way!” The dance was “a very difficult and super fast piece. I remember when she first showed it to us, I was like, ‘Oh, there’s just no way, we’re going to look ridiculous onstage.’ And we all worked so hard to get all the details right, and I just remember doing it and feeling like a million bucks.”


Favorite dancer:

Stephens identifies Kaycee Rice. “She’s really good, and she does a lot of different styles,” Stephens says. “The fact that she’s able to isolate her body in certain ways to move to the music … I’ve never seen something like that.”

Selendy, for her part, picks a piece: Ian Eastwood’s choreography for Missy Elliott’s “Let It Bump.” “It’s super fun and complex … I was like, ‘Oh my god, I literally need to learn this piece,’” says Selendy. She went as far as DM’ing Eastwood asking for a tutorial, but never heard back.


Favorite dessert at Commons:

“Oh, this is an easy one,” says Stephens. She likes the home baked lemon cake. “It’s like this big brown cake with bright yellow frosting. No one ever touches it, and it’s literally the best thing I’ve ever had!”

Selendy chooses the Reese’s bars — “but I don’t eat the chocolate,” she says. “I’m not a big fan of chocolate, but I love the peanut butter part. So I’ll just eat around the chocolate.”


Favorite Halloween costume worn:

Perhaps nowhere are Stephens’s and Selendy’s similar personalities more obvious than in their answers to this question: both identify costumes from animated movies.

“Mine was Sully,” says Stephens, and Selendy lets out an awed “Oh my god.” “My friends and I all went as Monsters Inc.,” Stephens continues, “and I had the Sully horns and the big blue outfit and the purple polka dots.”

Selendy, for her part, was a penguin from Madagascar — a costume which still makes an annual appearance during the Lost Valley Takeover.


Favorite life lesson learned from dance:

“It’s always going to be passion over talent, every time,” says Stephens. “When you have passion, that talent grows, and then you can become very talented. But if you’re talented and don’t have passion, that plateaus. If you want to do something, you can always do it with persistence … Anything that you can put your mind to, you can do.”

Selendy, for her part, says that dance has taught her that “it’s okay to be different,” and to embrace her individuality rather than trying to conform to expectations. “Every time I would go to the [dance] studio, it was an opportunity to embrace your weirdness and put it into a form of creation. … It’s not a space where weirdness or being different was bad; it was always appreciated and emphasized.”

“I can apply that to anything, really,” says Selendy. “Being different is good.”


Students interested in taking the stage with 2BEATS can attend an open practice every Sunday from 5 – 6:30 p.m., during which the team runs workshops and teaches choreography. Students who want more information can email Stephens at [email protected] or Selendy at [email protected]

Those interested in watching 2BEATS make magic should mark their calendars for Nov. 16, the club’s next performance.