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University of Buffalo takes first place in dance battle

by Brianna Bush - Executive Editor
Thu, Nov 21st 2019 01:00 pm
OSAD held its second annual Battle of the Schools where students from different collegiate schools come to Brockport to compete. Crossfyah Dancers (left) poses with OSAD eboard after winning the competition.
OSAD held its second annual Battle of the Schools where students from different collegiate schools come to Brockport to compete. Crossfyah Dancers (left) poses with OSAD eboard after winning the competition.

Throughout the Seymour College Union, rhythmic steps and claps could be heard as the Organization of Students of African Decent (OSAD) held its second annual Battle of the Schools. This years theme was Lost in the Jungle, and each team was to create a dance routine based on it.

According to OSAD’s Instagram page, Battle of the Schools is “an event where different dance/step teams different schools come to Brockport to compete.”

OSAD’s Dream Team started off the night by performing its own number. Each member was dressed in either a black or leopard-print leotard. The routine had the audience on their feet cheering and clapping. 

Though the dance team was not competing for the win, each member danced as if they were going for the win. The team’s routine ended with a solo performance, with the dancer jumping in the air and immediately falling to the ground — which was met with thundering applause from those in attendance.

Following Brockport’s dance team, Buffalo State College came on stage with its dance team Xquizit Moverz Association. 

The Moverz started their routine with two male performers acting out a mock car crash that landed them in a “jungle” in search of the “stepping stones.” The music started and the pair began to step dance to the bass of the song. The duo was later joined by the rest of the team who helped amplify the routine and the sounds that accompany it.

Throughout their routine, the music was cut off and the dancers created the rhythm solely through step dance. At one point the starting duo called out to the rest of the dancers — “Yo Xquisit, what are you trying to do?” — They responded with, “Break this stage” and proceeded with step dance as a response.

After Buffalo State performed, the judges — Kenya Petty, Ebony Vazquez, Samiyah Philips and Oliver Janvier gave some feedback on their performance.

Next on the stage was SUNY Fredonia’s team EnFusion Dance. Adorned in black and pink, the team took to the stage to perform its routine. The team performed in the full group and then branched off into smaller groups to highlight and showcase different dancers.

Vasquez commented on the groups use of props — pink bandanas tucked into their waist, that were later removed — and members individual energy. Petty also provided feedback in regard to the groups music choice.

After the judges feedback, Rochester Institute of Technology’s (RIT) team Indulgence Dance Crew, the winners of last year’s competition. RIT’s performance did not count toward the competition because they won the previous year — this way the teams each have a chance to win, but not in consecutive years.

The Crew’s performance was themed after popular Disney show “Kim Possible.” The dancers were dressed in all black, many of which had a ‘splash’ of red. At the beginning of the performance, a robotic voice came over the speakers giving the audience a theme to follow. Within the performance, the iconic “Kim Possible” chime sounded, paying full homage to the show.

The second to last group to grace the stage was Cazenovia College’s Infinity Step Team. Cazenovia stood out to the judges and the audience when because they performed without the assistance of music. The team relied solely on the rhythm they provided with their bodies. 

Infinity Step Team highlighted each of their performances with one of its dancers starting out each of their separate sections. With step dance it is crucial that each member  is in sync with the other in order to keep the rhythm going.

The last group to performer on Saturday, Nov. 16, was University at Buffalo’s (UB) CrossFyah Dancers. UB dancers took to the stage dressed in neon green shirts — some had leopard spots painted on their bodies — and one member with a dog named Max in hand. 

The music started to play and CrossFyah Dancers started to move, after a few seconds the lights went out and a black light was put on, along with well placed colored lights. The dancers were very insync with each other, each transition — whether it be song transitions or changes in the style the group used, they executed them with expertise.

CrossFyah Dancers President Dejah Luke explained that even though many of the members were new to team and their nerves were high, they were able to turn it into the “extra boost they needed to execute their performance well.”

After CrossFyah Dancers finished, the judges left to deliberate the groups and decide the winner of Battle of the Schools. To announce the winners OSADs executive board took to the stage, dressed in jungle themed apparel. 

OSAD President Alysha Rios, announced first place and runner up. Coming in second place by one point was Xquisit Moverz, and in first place was CrossFyah Dancers.

Luke shared her perspective on the win the team had obtained.

“We came in with a positive mindset and prayers backing us to allow us to have fun no matter if we placed or not,” Luke said. “Winning this dance battle showed us that even through all the long nights, the anticipation and the reduced amount of available performers, we could still bring home the trophy.”

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Taken by Vinny Croce:
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