ALC Showdown Fills Conte
Published: Sunday, March 25, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
From the top bleacher to the bottom bleacher, Conte Forum was packed for Boston College’s biggest and most competitive dance event: the 12th annual ALC Showdown, presented by the AHANA Leadership Council. The show featured 12 of the diversely gifted dance and cultural groups on campus, competing to win not only the envied title of Showdown champs, but also an enormous check made out to a deserving charity of the winner’s choice.
Opening the evening were special guests Phunk Phenomenon and Lil Phunk. After the first troupe revved the audience up with seizure-inducing strobe lights and high-energy hip-hop moves, Lil Phunk, a group half their size, proved that they were, nonetheless, equally as talented. In fact, the breakdancing 10-year-olds received a standing ovation from the crowd as they “whipped their hair back and forth” and demonstrated that they didn’t need to be taught “how to dougie.”
Rather than being introduced by a host, each group introduced themselves in a quick video that described the group’s dance style and indicated the charity that they would donate to should they win the competition. PATU, Presenting Africa To You, was introduced first. In short tribal skirts, the girls tapped and thumped around to African drums, as well as to Rihanna’s hit “End of Time,” creating a beautifully balanced blend of the traditional and the contemporary.
Phaymus, clad in camouflage cargo pants, took the stage immediately after. They marched to whistles and drums, incorporating hip-hop moves in their boot camp routine. Because they moved with near military precision, the army theme suited the dancers perfectly, and by the end of their performance, the audience was actually saluting them.
Uprising, one of BC’s latest dance teams, performed for their first time at Showdown. Though they were new to the competition, their explosive “New Age,” “New Style” moves, tied into an enchanting Wizard of Oz theme, captivated the audience and, ultimately, won them—without a bit of beginner’s luck—first place in the cultural category. Their choreography was fluid yet sharp—it was unique and bold, and it included sudden splits and, believe it or not, gravity-defying flying.
The Hawaii Club also participated in the cultural category. In glittering blue bikinis, the girls shook and hula danced to customary, breezy Hawaiian melodies and even to a brief Beach Boys tune. Adding a touch of humor to the performance, the shirtless male dancers tore off their skimpy towels during “Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO and flaunted their bright, sparkly shorts underneath.
The cultural dance group MASTI, part of the South Asian Student Association, exhibited their refreshing, distinct Indian dance moves as well. They exhilarated the crowd with intricate routines and daring stunts as they skipped around barefoot in vibrant red and white costumes. The Vietnamese Student Association’s (VSA) act was similarly invigorating and culturally distinctive. Diamonded dragons, luminous lanterns, and florally patterned fans all played an integral part in their intriguing act. AeroK, which is “Korea” spelled backwards, put on a colorful, dynamic presentation too, performing traditional dances such as the Talchum and the fan dance. Their brilliant routine won them second place.
Like Uprising, it was the Irish Step Dance Club’s (BCID) first year at Showdown. With intense rhythm and suspense, the dancers kept their arms incredibly still at their sides as they rapidly tapped their feet and hopped up and down, revealing their incredible mastery of technique. Just as BCID brought the beauty of Irish dance to Conte, Fuego del Corazon brought the heat of Latino dance. Going along with a court case theme, the girls came out in orange convict jumpsuits because Fuego was being accused of “not being fun, not being sexy, and having no swagger.” The group proved these accusations false the moment the girls dropped the baggy jumpers and exposed their bare-backed, black leotards. Sensually, they slid, flipped, and split alongside their male partners, all while wearing strappy high heels. Fuego proved their “innocence” and won second place in the competition by “letting the evidence speak for itself.”
Fusing a variety of different dance styles, Synergy also put on a remarkable performance in the dance category, with their ’90s throwback-themed dance party, complete with neon scrunchies, light-washed overalls, and hit favorites such as “Say My Name” and “Up In Here.”
As usual, both of BC’s step teams demanded the audience’s attention with their pulsating performances. Females Incorporating Sisterhood Through Step (FISTS) clapped, slapped, and clomped around in green Frankenstein wigs, but the highlight of the entire show was definitely Sexual Chocolate’s routine. Adapting a classic favorite, SC tied their steps into Toy Story. Seeing Woody and Buzz stomp to “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” seeing Buzz go “to infinity and beyond” to “I Believe I Can Fly,” and seeing a grown man dressed as Little Bo Peep is undeniably an unforgettable and entertaining experience. It’s little surprise, then, that SC took home the first-place Showdown title, winning in support of the West End House Boys & Girls Club. n