As seven o’clock drew nearer on Saturday, April 14th, thousands of Boston College students and community members descended on Conte Forum. Inside, fourteen dance teams waited for their cues backstage. The crowd erupted into excited cheers when the lights finally dimmed and co-hosts Taraun Frontis, CSOM ’19, and Michael Osaghae, MCAS ’20, appeared on stage to kick-off the 2018 ALC Showdown.
The AHANA+ Leadership Council (ALC) has hosted Showdown every spring since 2008. In addition to being an opportunity for dance organizations to display their talent, Showdown was founded as a celebration of the AHANA+ community and the vibrance of AHANA+ cultures. Over the years, it has grown from a small dance show held in the Rat to one of the most popular and widely-attended student organized events on campus.
This year, fourteen teams performed: Females Incorporating Sisterhood Through Step (F.I.S.T.S.), Fuego del Corazón, Synergy, UPrising, BC Irish Dance, Sexual Chocolate, Dance Organization of BC (DOBC), BC Dance Ensemble (BCDE) Masti, Vida de Intensa Pasión (VIP), Presenting Africa to You (PATU), Phaymus, On Tap, and AEROdynamiK. These teams were divided into three categories: Showcase, Competition, and Culture. Several styles of dance were featured in the performances including ballet, step, Irish, latin, and hip-hop. The dancers were competing for prize money, which they pledged to donate to charity.
The show’s highlights include F.I.S.T.S.’s Amazonian warrior themed step-dance routine that alternated between unaccompanied stomping and lively dancing to popular songs like Drake’s “God’s Plan.” The dancers used a creative storyline and their powerful stomps to convey their message of female strength and independence, eliciting enthusiastic applause from the crowd. Fuego Del Corazón portrayed the curiosity and amazement of one Latino immigrant in New York City in their dazzling number featuring cultural fusion, mixing Latin dance numbers with the backdrop of classic American symbols like the Statue of Liberty, Broadway, and Wall Street. The dancers impressed with their synchronization and seemingly effortless stunts, including one in which the women balanced atop the men's arms as they paraded in a circle. Half-way through the performances, there was a special guest appearance by Lil Phunk, the official junior dance team of the Boston Celtics, which received a standing ovation from much of the crowd for its incredible flips and stunts.
At the end of the night, the winners were announced: Synergy won first prize in the category of Competition, intending to donate its prize money to Hip Hop 4 Hope, and Sexual Chocolate came in second. PATU won first place in Culture, and will donate its prize money to CameroonONE. Finally, the People’s Choice Award was presented to DOBC. Each dance group showed a combination of creative costumes, themes, and choreography with passion and enthusiasm that made for an amazing show, and more importantly, a beautiful display of the culture and life of people of color.