News, On Campus

Dance Teams Compete At Showdown

The noise emanating from Conte Forum could be heard throughout campus on Saturday night as over 3,500 people attended the sold-out Annual Showdown featuring various dance troupes of Boston College. Presented by UGBC’s heritage programming department, the Annual Showdown featured 12 of BC’s dance groups, displaying a variety of dance styles.

Teams competed for the top two places in either the cultural category-featuring different ethnic and cultural dance organizations-or the dance category. Teams competing in the cultural category included the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA); Presenting African to You (PATU), a traditional and modern African dance troupe; Vida de Intensa Pasion (VIP), a Latin dance team; and Masti, the South Asian Student Association’s official dance team.
The remaining eight teams-Synergy; UPrising; BC Dance Ensemble (BCDE); BC Irish Dance (BCID); Phaymus; FISTS; Fuego del Corazon; and Sexual Chocolate-competed in the dance category.
Each team represented a charity of its choice, and the winner of each category would receive $500 to donate to its charity.
The show opened with a performance by Conspiracy Theory, BC’s street dance crew, which did not compete in the Showdown. Hosts for the evening’s events Alisha Wright, A&S ’15, and Denise Pyfrom, A&S ’14, then introduced Lil’ Phunk, the official junior dance team of the Boston Celtics, to entertain in a pre-competition performance.
Each team was introduced by videos with footage from its practice sessions and introductions from team leaders on each individual group’s mission and the charity it was representing.
Each group was given eight minutes to showcase its routine to a panel of three judges. The judge’s panel included Merli Guerra, director of Luminarium Dance Company in Cambridge, Mass.; Sarah Katarina, director of Static Noyze Dance Company and faulty member at the Jeannette Neill Dance Studio in New York; and Reia Briggs-Connor, director and choreographer of Lil’ Phunk.
Sexual Chocolate, BCDE, PATU, Synergy, BCID, and VIP performed in the first half of the show, which led into a 15-minute intermission. The remaining six teams finished off the show, followed by the judges’ deliberation and award presentation.
Masti was named the victor of the culture category, winning $500 for its charity CRY America-an organization that strives to support underprivileged children in India.
PATU and its movie director-inspired dance received second place in the category. In the dance category, Fuego del Corazon took the title with its West Side Story routine and donated its winnings to the Veronica Robles Cultural Center in Boston, with Synergy taking second with its upbeat, Disney routine.
Pyfrom, the vice president of programming for UGBC, noted that this year’s Showdown was a success, crediting the heritage programming members for their hard work.
“It takes a lot of logistics,” she said. “Half is preparation before and half is being a quick thinker the day of the show.”
Although the final expenditure of the show has not yet been calculated, Pyfrom believes that the show was as successful as last year’s-both events were sold out. About 3,300 tickets were sold at $15 each, with the remaining 200 spots given to participants within the various dance groups. Pyfrom declined to comment on specific expenses of the event.
“Some of the money we make on revenue pays for the event,” Pyfrom said. “The programming board has been working very diligently, and we’re not entirely sure on how the budgeting will be divided.”
As a four-year member of the programming board, Pyfrom said she is most proud of the growth of Showdown in recent years.
“Tryouts are new … [they] came about because this event has been growing in popularity, and before my time, it wasn’t a huge event,” she said. “It actually started in Robsham, and then the Plex, then recently moved to Conte because so many more people wanted to be a part of it and involved with this and wanted to see the show.”


April 7, 2014