Boston College students are plenty familiar with the robust dance scene on campus, but on Saturday evening, they were introduced to faces they may not have seen before. BC dance group UPrising hosted its fourth annual Waves showcase, which brought together a selection of BC hip-hop groups as well as teams from across the greater Boston area, including a goofy all-male squad and a bold LGBTQ-focused group.
UPrising kicked off the show with a “Juke Jam,” a fun, vintage hip-hop-inspired routine that featured the eponymous jukebox front and center. As the music scrambled and switched, jumping from Biggie Smalls’ classic “Hypnotize” to “…Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears, the energy of the choreography shifted, but it always retained a loose, swaggering feel emphasized by the retro athletic get-ups the dancers wore.
All-female Phaymus elicited shrieks from the audience with a racy performance set to a selection of songs from confident female vocalists, from the Pussycat Dolls to Cardi B. When Cardi’s mega-hit “Bodak Yellow” came on, Phaymus danced along for a few beats before the song morphed into a percussive remix and the group followed suit, hitting home each beat with sharp moves.
Synergy’s members were dressed up for the evening as aliens, but make no mistake, they didn’t come in peace. A cosmic-themed playlist was interspersed with threatening Star Trek-esque messages promising imminent destruction, and Synergy certainly brought the same forceful energy to the stage through its choreography.
The senior members of UPrising showcased the rollercoaster of the college experience, from a steamy couples number that embodied the power of young love to a more energetic, crowd-pleasing performance set to Black Eyed Peas’ “Boom Boom Pow” that captured the atmosphere of a sweaty Mod party.
Movementality, an all-male group from MIT, entertained the crowd with equal parts slapstick humor and precise technique. Decked out in black from head to toe, the dancers led the audience through a silly, Mission: Impossible-themed story that found the protagonist infiltrating Doctor Evil’s lair only to fall head-over-heels in love with him. The tone turned romantic, and Movementality gave Sexual Chocolate a run for its money with a provocative routine set to slow R&B.
W!cked, Suffolk University’s one and only hip-hop group, matched the high energy and aggressive delivery of trap music, dancing to “Light It Up” by Marshmello, Cardi B’s “Press,” and Daddy Yankee’s Latin smash hit “China.”
QWAM (Queens With a Mission), a Boston-based dance crew created to support the LGBTQ community, brought tight, in-sync moves to the stage. Matching the bravado of rappers Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat as they blasted through the speakers, QWAM’s unapologetic confidence was infectious.
UPrising reconvened as a group for one final performance to wrap up Waves. The stage was filled with dancers who filed on and off throughout the routine, smoothly moving in and out of formations. Gentler R&B-inflected songs such as Usher’s “Confessions Part II” and “I Need It” by Johnny Balik smoothly wound down the night.
Waves III was the fourth successful iteration of a wonderfully inclusive spirit on UPrising’s part. Not only did the group extend a welcome to other BC groups, they also brought exciting groups from beyond BC to showcase their talents.
Featured Image by Ikram Ali / Heights Editor