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Showdown Growing in Attendance

For The Heights

Published: Monday, March 29, 2010

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01

On Saturday night, Conte Forum hosted the eighth annual AHANA Leadership Council (ALC) Showdown dance competition.

The ALC event showcased a number of student performance groups including hip-hop group Synergy, which took first place in the dance category, and Korean dance troupe Aero-K, which took first place in the culture category.

This year's competition drew 100 more attendees than last year's, with approximately 3,500 individuals filling Conte Forum.

The Showdown has shown growth since its inception in 2002 when the event took place in Robsham Theater, which has a capacity of approximately 500 individuals. As the event started to attract more students, it moved its venue to the Plex in 2006, which has a capacity of about 1,200 people. In 2008, the Showdown once again changed its location, this time to Conte Forum.

Due to the large response by the student body for this year's ALC Showdown, Conte Forum proved not to be large enough. Tickets for the event sold out – a first in the ALC Showdown's eight-year history. Some people who could not find seats were standing during the show on Saturday.

Earl Edwards, president of the ALC and A&S '10, described the event's growth.  "It is definitely getting bigger," he said. "As years passed, we have had more groups joining to perform. This year was the first year that the tickets were sold out. In my freshman year, 2007, the show was performed at the Plex. Now the audience fills up half of Conte Forum, the biggest arena on the campus."

Coming behind Synergy for second place in the dance category was Latin dance team Fuego de Corazon. Masti, a group organized by the South Asian Student Association (SASA), won second place in the culture category.

Fuego and Synergy took first and second place, respectively, last year among the dance groups, and Masti and Aero-K won first and second place, respectively, in the culture category.

"We tried to incorporate the modern music and movements with those of traditional Korean culture," said Margaret Shin, a member of Aero-K and CSOM '10. "We all prepared zealously for this showdown. We practiced three hours every day for the past two weeks. I am very glad it turned out well."

Sandy Rodriguez, co-director of programming for the ALC and A&S '10, explained the process by which judges are chosen. "Many of the judges are dance experts themselves," he said. "There are few BC professors who judge, but most are outside of BC who have vocations in the field of dancing."

Lizzie Korsgaard, fellow co-director of programming for the ALC and CSOM '10, said, "The judges make their decisions based on originality or creativity, energy or showmanship, synchronization, and overall presentation. Of course, for culture groups, they do take into consideration the cultural presentation as well."

Gabriella Goode, A&S '12, said she found the show enjoyable. "The show was very good, and I especially liked Lil Phunk. They were so cute and amazing," she said, referring to the junior dance team of the Boston Celtics that consists of 33 boys and girls who range from six to 13 years old. The energetic group elicited a standing ovation following its performance.

New performers such as the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) and Swing Kids were added to the program this year. This year also featured an after-party, more skits, and three MCs instead of the usual two.

The proceeds from the Showdown are used to fund events that the ALC puts on throughout the year. "Most of that money goes back to the costs of the events that ALC hosts throughout the year," Edwards said. "The two biggest ALC annual events beside this Showdown are the Boat Cruise and the Ball. Usually, these two events end up incurring debt. The money we raise through tickets to the Showdown helps cover this debt." 

Tickets for the show were $15 each and an additional $5 was charged for those who wanted to join the after-party.


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