Arts, On Campus

UPrising’s Showcase ‘Waves VII’ Centers Around Community And Love For Dance

The lights dimmed and the crowd cheered, filling Robsham Theater with excitement and anticipation. “SUVs (Black on Black),” by Jack Harlow and Pooh Shiesty, started playing when dancers emerged from the sides of the stage and walked to the center as the backdrop turned red and silhouettes came into view. UPrising Dance Crew was about to kick off its annual “Waves VII” showcase.

UPrising performed the annual “Waves VII” at Robsham Theater on Friday, Jan. 26. This year’s performance aimed to highlight the way different dance teams contribute to a larger dance community, according to Jasmine Maturana, MCAS ’25 and vice president of UPrising.

UPrising began “Waves VII” with its fall set titled “Murder Mystery,” which featured energetic choreographies to “No Limit” by G-Eazy, “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga, and “Foolish” by Rich Brian, Warren Hue, and Guapdad 4000. 

Lights turned on to reveal the dancers in their gold-black sparkling tops and black bottoms with smiles on their faces, ready to take on the night. The crowd cheers grew louder as the team danced to “Low” by SZA. The group finished its first set with “Wolves” by Big Sean and Post Malone. 

“We really tried to go back to what made UPrising special,” Sammy Kim, MCAS ’24, co-captain of UPrising, said. “We not only went back to more of our roots as a hip-hop dance team, trying to implement more traditional aspects of hip-hop, but we also tried to allow the individual choreographers to express their own material, which is something we really value.” 

From the upbeat high-energy “Murder Mystery” set to the emotionally melancholic “Happier Than Ever” set, UPrising showed off a series of different hip-hop choreography styles.

The show continued with performances of “I’m So Hot,” by Chrissy Chlapecka, and the iconic “Womanizer” by Britney Spears. Only the team’s female dancers, wearing all black and high heels, performed these songs—UPrising’s women-led set highlighted femininity, as the dancers charmed the audience with their elegant and powerful dance moves. 

“All For Us,” by Labrinth and Zendaya, started playing when the rookies—eight new members to UPrising’s team—came out on the stage to prove themselves with the “Euphoria” set, which encompassed five choreographies. The girls wore black mesh tops and the guys wore black T-shirts, moving gracefully and dynamically to all of the songs. The set finished with “Escapism,” by 070 Shake and RAYE. 

This year’s UPrising showcase was different from previous years because the showcase centered around the concept of community. UPrising invited other Boston College dance teams including Fuego del Corazón, Phaymus Dance Entertainment, AEROdynamiK Dance Crew, and Boston-based choreography team, Nomads. The collection of groups reflected on what community means for them and how dance connects them all. 

“We wanted to show how each team cares about the community and brings dance into that—what community, and love for dance means to them,” Maturana said when explaining this year’s theme. “We also wanted to share the love for dance with the audience.” 

During the intermission, videos of UPrising members and other guest teams played for the audience. The videos reflected on the concept of community and emphasized a sense of unity, demonstrating how important dance teams are for forming deep connections and a family to them.   

The alumni set further embodied the idea of community, featuring 13 UPrising alumni including founders Brandon Moye, BC ’12, and John Tesoriero, BC ’15. The founders danced alongside the dance crew’s other recent graduates. 

“Eastside,” by Benny Blanco, Halsey, and Khalid, began playing as the alumni effortlessly danced to the catchy melody, evoking nostalgia with their passion for dance. 

“We’re very appreciative for [the alumni] coming all the way to BC, and some of them even came from New York, and they pulled together a whole set, which is so amazing,” Rona Sun, MCAS ’24 and president of UPrising Dance Crew, said. “We think it’s really meaningful, and I think it meant a lot for them too, to be able to perform at UPrising again. We’re glad that we brought that back and we’re probably going to do an alumni set in the future too.” 

The graduates wore big smiles on their faces, ecstatic to be on stage as they performed “Money,” by Cardi B, “$ave Dat Money,” by Lil Dicky, and “Strange Clouds,” by B.o.B, drawing applause from the crowd.

The current team members danced with powerful emotion-evoking movements when a new set began with choreographies to “Happier Than Ever,” by Billie Eilish and “Radioactive,” by Imagine Dragons.

The three seniors of UPrising then came out, wearing blue and white, fully owning the large stage with their rhythmic movements to “Runnin,” by Smino, “On My Mama,” by Victoria Monét, and “Baby Boo,” by Muni Long and Saweetie. The seniors hugged on stage, further amplifying the crowd’s cheers.

As a senior who joined UPrising in his freshman year, Kim said UPrising has become a group he sees as his family. He said that despite being disappointed to be graduating and leaving the group soon, he still looks forward to the future.

“I have a little bit of hope because we have graduates come back with the alumni set,” Kim said. “It’s been a roller coaster of ups and downs and I wouldn’t trade it for real.” 

The showcase closed its performance with “Waves,” the main set, as all the team members wore black and white, dancing to “Gossip Folks,” by Missy Elliott, and concluding with “Show Out,” by Kid Cudi, Pop Smoke, and Skepta. The dancers finished strongly, full of energy and enthusiasm as the crowd applauded and cheered vigorously. 

The other four dance teams featured in the showcase surprised the audience throughout the show with a number of unique costumes, dance sets, and eye-catching visual scenes. The inclusion of other dance groups added additional perspectives and diversity to the performance. 

UPrising’s “Waves VII” may have been a talent-filled dance show, but it was also so much more. At the core of “Waves VII,” performers from all backgrounds and experiences came together to make a spectacle celebrating their love and passion for dance. 

January 28, 2024