Arts, On Campus

ALC Showdown 2024 Thrills BC as Dance Teams Up Their Game

Boston College’s most anticipated dance showcase of the year did not disappoint the BC community—despite the event’s scheduling overlap with the men’s hockey championship. At 6 p.m. on Saturday, Conte Forum opened to the public, which eagerly lined up in anticipation of ALC Showdown 2024.

The evening’s hosts—Yosan Tewelde, MCAS ’24 and AHANA+ Leadership Council (ALC) director, and Saron Yared, MCAS ’25 and ALC assistant director—hyped up the audience with a recap of famous pop-culture moments from the past year, a few jokes, and some cheering exercises.

The event coincided with the NCAA men’s hockey championship game, a scheduling oversight that the hosts jokingly apologized for later in the night. Though attendance was slightly lower than in past years, the competition still drew an impressive and energetic crowd.

The showcase was a competition among BC’s 17 dance teams to win a donation to a charity of their choice. The first-place winner, Females Incorporating Sisterhood Through Step (F.I.S.T.S.), donated its winnings to Strong Women, Strong Girls. The charity’s mission is “to empower girls to imagine a broader future through a curriculum grounded on women role models delivered by college women mentors, who are themselves mentored by professional women,” according to its website.

Synergy and BC Irish Dance (BCID) took second and third at the end of the night, respectively, while Presenting Africa To U (PATU) won Crowd Choice for receiving the loudest cheers from the audience.

Each dance team is encouraged to include a cultural aspect in its performance, reflecting the mission of ALC to promote diversity and inclusion of marginalized groups on campus. Each team explained its theme and cultural connections in a short video before each performance.

Fuego del Corazón

(Sarah Fleming / Heights Editor)

Fuego del Corazón, who placed third last year, opened the night with a mixture of Latin dance showcased through their signature vibrant attitude. Its theme, “Eternal Flame: A Journey Through Time,” was a depiction of Latin culture through time, displayed through a range of Latin music across different eras—from reggaeton to bachata and merengue. 

The set featured modern urban artists such as J Balvin and Rauw Alejandro, as well as ’80s Cuban artist Gloria Estefan.

The female dancers wore glittery, black and white two-pieces, while the men matched their elegant attire by wearing black pants and white shirts. 

The team shifted from partner to solo dancing throughout its set, displaying Fuego’s chemistry with smooth transitions between different genres and speeds. 

BC On Tap

(Sarah Fleming / Heights Editor)

Up next was BC On Tap, which chose “Queen” as its theme in celebration of Freddie Mercury’s legacy within the LGBTQ+ community. 

The team members wore black leather jackets and matching black leather shorts as they danced along to a set composed purely of Queen songs. The team creatively danced to the unusual genre choice for a tap group, maintaining a consistent speed to match fast-paced classic tunes like “We Will Rock You,” “Under Pressure,” “Don’t Stop Me Now,” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

The team ended its set with the last lines of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” turning its backs to the audience in a synchronized and final powerful stomp. 

AEROdynamiK Dance Crew

(Sarah Fleming / Heights Editor)

In celebration of the power and legacy of film, AEROdynamiK’s theme explored the cinematic universe of Spider-Man, made evident through its costumes and soundtrack setlist.

Half of the team wore cropped red and silver Spider-Man costume shirts, while the other half wore black and red tank tops and t-shirts with the logo, creating sub-teams that fought against each other throughout the set.

AEROdynamiK’s fight sequences and breakdancing created cinematic suspense within the Spider-Man narrative. 

The audience’s cheers got louder as it heard Post Malone and Swae Lee’s “Sunflower,” popularized by Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which was the team’s closing song. 

Following AEROdynamiK’s intense set, the hosts stepped once again onto stage for a brief intermission, asking the audience who they were most excited to see next.

They surprised the crowd by announcing the next performers: the ALC. The members took the stage and began by jokingly stretching in preparation of their brief and fun set. 

Golden Eagles Dance Team

(Sarah Fleming / Heights Editor)

Focusing on social inequalities, the Golden Eagles Dance Team chose The Hunger Games as its theme. Still in the dark, the iconic three-note whistle from The Hunger Games introduced the set. The team, wearing gray sparkly bodysuits, aligned in formation as James Newton Howard and Jennifer Lawrence’s “The Hanging Tree” began to play. 

The Golden Eagles showcased their precise coordination through multiple high kicks and spins while sticking to The Hunger Games narrative through voiceovers of President Snow’s and Peeta’s voices. 

Toward the end of their set, the dancers grabbed giant red flags and waved them simultaneously in an enigmatic display. Finally, one of the dancers positioned herself at the center of the stage and posed with a bow and arrow pointed toward the sky to end the set, emulating the fierceness of Katniss Everdeen in a scene straight out of the dystopian series.


(Sarah Fleming / Heights Editor)

BC’s only Africa and African Diaspora dance team took the stage sporting athletic attire for its theme of “The Olympics.” With the Olympic Games Paris 2024 coming up, PATU’s mission was to highlight the dominance of African athletes in the sports world, specifically in sports like soccer and gymnastics. 

PATU decided to donate its Crowd Choice winnings to Play It Forward, a nonprofit organization that supports rural community schools in Southern Zambia by engaging children and young people in sports. 

The team members wore black spandex shorts, jerseys with their last names written on the back, and black knee pads, mimicking volleyball players. The dancers pretended to fight over a golden torch in an exciting competition for the winning prize. Their dance was intertwined with commentary on African athletes.

PATU’s empowering dancing to Beyoncé’s “Run the World (Girls)” and to Shakira’s “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” earned the team the loudest cheers from the crowd and even incited some to stand up to dance along to the official 2010 FIFA World Cup song.

Dance Organization of Boston College (DOBC)

(Sarah Fleming / Heights Editor)

DOBC highlighted leading female figures who have risen to fame by overcoming criticism and scrutiny. Their theme, “Cover Girl,” was embodied by the female artists they highlighted in their song choices, such as Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, and Doja Cat.

The dancers wore red pants and matching tops under glittery black vests as they stormed onto stage. The set opened with an audio of different voices talking judgmentally about a woman, revealed by the first song to be Britney Spears.

They danced along to Gaga’s “Born This Way,” reflecting the theme of their unapologetic celebration of self. The group made their way from scattered formations to form a kick line, an impressive end to its edgy set.

UPrising Dance Crew

(Sarah Fleming / Heights Editor)

UPrising Dance Crew placed second last year and brought the same intensity to this year’s performance. Its hip-hop set focused on themes of perseverance dealing with the frustration of feeling stuck. 

Wearing identical gray cargo pants and sleeveless hoodies, along with matching white and blue striped face makeup, UPrising’s coordinated costumes added to their unity of movement. 

Members of the group pretended to scream while other dancers held them back, eventually breaking free into a burst of movement onstage.

“If you can’t fly, run,” a voiceover said at one point in the set. “If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl, but by all means keep moving.” 

As the set ended, UPrising’s dancers moved in sync to “Glorious” by Macklemore feat. Skylar Grey, pumping their fists triumphantly. The conclusion captured UPrising’s message that, despite struggles, perseverance is key. 


(Vikrum Singh / Heights Senior Staff)

Masti, last year’s first-place team, returned with the same energy and creativity as last year’s set. Their performance centered around a story about a tumultuous royal family, reflecting the narrative style of classic Bollywood films. Clad in bright red and green costumes, Masti danced through choreographed fights and political-themed scenes with ease. 

Masti made creative use of props and sound in its storytelling, using voiceovers from members of the group for narration between songs. A glimmering golden crown was stolen and exchanged between characters, who danced while balancing the crown on their heads. Hip-hop and rap remixes of Bollywood songs added intensity to the set.

Masti’s choreography was imaginative, including a dramatic fight scene complete with a fake stabbing and maniacal laughter playing in the background. The dance ended with the family’s sister, played by Suhani Gupta, MCAS ’26, becoming queen after regaining the stolen crown from her brother.

The story’s ending reflected Masti’s chosen theme of female empowerment, and the smiles of the team as the lights dimmed reflected its joyful finish.

BC Irish Dance (BCID)

(Sarah Fleming / Heights Editor)

BCID’s set won third this year and featured Irish artists in its music choices, celebrating the depth of Irish culture. The set opened with a nod to Peaky Blinders, with the majority of the group dressed in waistcoats and old-timey newsboy caps as one member pretended to be drunkenly thrown out of a bar and onto the stage.

Three members were dressed in red, white, and black glittery flapper outfits, standing out among the otherwise dark-colored khaki lineup. The other dancers formed circles around the three girls, spinning around them on tiptoe. 

The set continued its classic theme with a fake gangster-style shootout. Despite the chaotic themes, BCID’s choreography was intentional and polished. Dancers formed a large circle, then split quickly into two, moving rapidly in unison. With its imaginative, classy set, BCID explored and pushed the boundaries of traditional Irish dance.

BC Dance Ensemble (BCDE)

(Sarah Fleming / Heights Editor)

BCDE’s set paid tribute to one of jazz dance’s monumental figures, Bob Fosse. As the lights brightened, they revealed the dancers’ red corset-style leotards and burlesque poses. The dancers stepped forward slowly as “All That Jazz” from Fosse’s hit Broadway musical Chicago began playing. The songs were interspersed with audio clips of people discussing Fosse’s legacy.

The dancers’ movements flowed together, whether they were moving as a line or striking expressive poses across the stage. The dancers climbed on chairs, reminiscent of the raunchy “Cell Block Tango,” also from Chicago. 

In BCDE’s classy set, each movement was intentionally precise. The dancers embodied Fosse’s jazz vision as they wore long silk gloves and black collars. Jazz hands never looked so elegant.

Vida de Intensa Pasión (VIP)

(Vikrum Singh / Heights Senior Staff)

As VIP took the stage, its formation looked a little different from a typical Latin dance group. The dancers—some raised in the air in cheerleading-style poses—held shimmering gold pom-poms. Its theme was inspired by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira’s 2020 Super Bowl halftime show performance, celebrating the energy and style of modern Latin music and dance.

“The National Football League welcomes you to the VIP halftime show,” boomed a sports-announcer style voice from the speakers.

As the dancers flipped and twirled, demonstrating styles of salsa, bachata, and reggaeton, a dancer in a referee costume ran on stage. He threw down a yellow flag and declared the show had received a penalty for being “too sexy.” 

A dance-off between the men and women of the group followed, including a sequence where the men twirled around pieces of PVC pipe, throwing them high in the air. The dance culminated with a complex and fiery couples dance. The women spun around as their partners lifted them in the air, drawing gasps and cheers from the crowd.


(Sarah Fleming / Heights Editor)

Phaymus’s hip-hop set was an homage to the early 2000s street dance scene. The group wore 2000s inspired streetwear, including red and white tank tops, sporty oversized t-shirts, and black joggers. Many of the girls sported bandannas in their hair, giving them a tough look to match their confident choreography. 

Their choreography was edgy, but polished, and the group moved together with ease as they pumped their fists and stomped around onstage. “FTCU” by Nicki Minaj drew the crowd into Phaymus’ street scene, with the audience shouting the lyrics as the dancers stepped in time to the song.

Each of the hip-hop groups managed to create a unique performance despite similar styles of dance, and Phaymus was no exception. From its confident expressions to its tasteful twerking, the group brought an infectious energy to Conte Forum. The set ended with the dancers waving and throwing bandannas toward the crowd, which was already on its feet cheering.

After Phaymus’ set, the hosts called upon specific seniors in the crowd to stand up to honor their contributions to the BC community. They then asked all members of the Class of 2024 to stand, celebrating their achievements over the past four years.

“C”apital Dance Ministry

(Sarah Fleming / Heights Editor)

2024 marked “C”apital Dance Ministry’s second year participating in Showdown, and the group showed a lot of growth from its debut in last year’s ALC Showdown. 

This year’s theme was “Redemption” for “C”apital Dance, and it shone through with many of its sequences and songs. Some wore black ripped sweaters and others wore white shirts as the members expressed their love for God through dance.

There were a number of different songs about God and faith from all different genres of music, from slower songs to faster rap songs. “C”apital Dance’s movements reflected the speed of its music, as well as the different themes in the songs. 

In a memorable sequence, the stage froze as one of “C”apital Dance’s members was engulfed by hands from the waist down. The moment perfectly captured the “Redemption” theme that the group was shooting for. 

The set ended with most of “C”apital Dance’s members on the floor in a prayer position, mirroring its theme for the night. In a night full of thrilling and impressive performances, “C”apital Dance Ministry managed to stand out.

Full Swing

(Sarah Fleming / Heights Editor)

Full Swing went all out for its Showdown performance this year. 

Its set was Roaring Twenties themed with music and costumes to accompany it. Though Blondie’s “One Way Or Another” may not have actually come from the ’20s, Full Swing convinced the audience that it fit right in with the rest of its performance. 

As Full Swing’s set progressed, it became clear there was an underlying “Clue” murder mystery theme to the show. Six of Full Swing’s members had a specially colored wardrobe to reflect the colors of Professor Plum, Colonel Mustard, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock, Mrs. White, and Miss Scarlet. The killer was revealed to be Miss Scarlet with the dagger in the ballroom, much to the audience’s surprise, and the other dancers lifted up a girl clad in a glittery red flapper dress as they “caught” her. 

Full Swing embodied the feeling of a ’20s dance club, with dancing couples, creative twirling, and, of course, animated faces and smiles to compliment the set. 


(Sarah Fleming / Heights Editor)

Synergy came out with a clear theme and idea of what it wanted to do, which earned the group a second-place win at ALC Showdown 2024. 

Synergy’s set revolved around the “Syn‘ Block Party,” which was meant to take the diverse backgrounds of all Synergy members and mesh them together for a unique and united theme. 

The group began the set playing double-dutch on stage, and one dancer wheeled across stage on a kid’s scooter. The performance was reminiscent of early neighborhood hip-hop scenes, as all of Synergy danced its heart out in jeans and colorful crop tops. 

The “Syn‘ Block Party” had a host DJ who stood at the front of the stage and queued up different songs to energize the dancers and the crowds. Hits like “Low” and “Apple Bottom Jeans” by Flo Rida, and classics like the Cha Cha Slide and “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls boomed out of the DJ’s speakers. 

The set was also mixed with interludes of vocal interactions between dancers who spoke with animated expressions to break up some of the dance sequences. 

“I don’t know if there’s something in the Res water this year, because everybody’s standing on business,” said Claire Johnson, one of the show’s judges and LSEHD ’26, following Synergy’s performance. 


(Sarah Fleming / Heights Editor)

F.I.S.T.S. were this year’s ALC Showdown winners—and last year’s crowd choice—for good reason. The group pulled no punches when it came to their performance, and it took the highest risks seen at Showdown this year. 

“Stepping is our passion and performing is our gift,” F.I.S.T.S. explained in its introduction video. 

The story of its set revolved around members being stuck in an escape room environment. Decked out in pink jumpsuits and bob-style wigs, members of F.I.S.T.S. followed the vocal directives of an AI voice to try and escape.

The AI initially directed them to form a shape with their bodies. F.I.S.T.S. responded by using its step and movement as rhythm to make different formations. The dancers’ coordinated movements and synchronized beats eventually cleared the escape room, but the challenges only became more difficult, meaning F.I.S.T.S. showcased even more impressive stepping. 

The second challenge was a variation of Simon Says, which F.I.S.T.S. easily completed with some call-and-response choreography. Each challenge was mixed with sequences of music, vocals, and a lot of stepping. 

The final challenge took away F.I.S.T.S.’s sight as the lights dimmed and the dancers put on blindfolds to perform their final task on stage. Jumping over each other and high-fiving on beat without sight, F.I.S.T.S. mesmerized the crowd and garnered what may have been the loudest cheer of the night. 

Judges and the audience agreed that F.I.S.T.S. won the night with its show-stopping set. The team members cried, expressing their pride after members of the ALC announced the judges’ final decision.

Sexual Chocolate

(Sarah Fleming / Heights Editor)

Sexual Chocolate closed the night with a strong showing of “Resilliance and Resistance,” the same word revealed to be spelled out on its t-shirts at the end of the set. The group used a mixture of stepping and music to awe the audience.

Sexual Chocolate’s goal was to bring light to the problem of mass incarceration and unjust imprisonment in America, and the dancers wore orange jumpsuits and used a number of props—like cafeteria trays and broken prison bars—to get their point across.

The dancers performed with animation, making use of facial expressions and their bodies to create rhythm, even when no music accompanied their set. They took a number of unique risks during the performance, like jumping over each other and stepping with people on their shoulders, to close out the show memorably.

April 14, 2024