By Kristen Rafferty
Auditions are over, prizes are assembled, the program is set, and in just three days, the much-anticipated Plattsburgh’s Best Dance Crew will take center stage at Giltz Auditorium. On September 23rd the competition is on, and Chair of the Entertainment Committee Jimmy McKenna has nothing but enthusiasm for the show.
“From the second people walk in, we want them to be entertained,” he says. “We’ve worked really hard to make sure that our audience has fun the entire night.”
Advertised as “the hottest campus event this semester,” the contest, which takes place at 7 pm Wednesday night, is modeled after MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew, with five dance teams set to perform. Teams will each dance once, and after an intermission the three finalists will perform again—this time with an audience vote by ballot that will decide the ultimate winner. MC for the night is Michael Cashman, advisor of Student Activities.
“He’s a really funny guy,” says McKenna. “He’s got a lot good stuff planned.”
Judges for the event are Cori Matthews, Director of the Center for Student Involvement; Bill Laundry, VP of student services; Kara Lalonde, VP of student activities for the SA; and Penny Kendall, the beloved and well-known cashier at Clinton Dining Hall.
The dance teams, who auditioned last week for a spot in the competition, include select dancers from the two on-campus dance groups, Dance Corps and Jedi Step, and three amateur groups who, McKenna says, should definitely not be underestimated. Five girls make up team “Fuji,” while a four-man team calls themselves “Visionaries.” “Frank’s Phantoms,” a group of three girls and one guy, rounds out the set of teams.
Contestant Stacey Calcagni, a member of the Dance Corps team, says that her group “included a lot of tricks in the routine,” in order to spice up the competition.
“I hope the crowd will react and recognize the amount of fun and joy we get from dancing,” she says. “We tried to keep our routine flowing continuously for all those people in the audience who maybe don't follow intense technical dance training.” Stacey’s team is performing a hip hop number to “Picture Perfect Remix” by Chris Brown, Hurricane Chris, and Bow Wow.
Dharmit Laxman, a member of team “Visionaries,” says his group is also hoping to wow the crowd.
“We don’t even really care about winning,” he says. “We won’t be like any other team. I told my group to go out there and entertain the audience. Show them what we’re about.” “Visionaries” is dancing to a mix of hip hop songs and a short clip of a Britney Spears song.
The program for the evening also includes performances from the professional dance crew “61Syx Teknique,” a group which travels across the nation performing for any venue that requests their unique hip hop and break dancing styles.
“We’re really excited to have 61Syx performing at the show,” says McKenna. “They’re just great, and they’ll really add to the entertainment for the night.” With a resume that includes shows for B2K, Lloyd Banks, and Fat Joe, 61Syx will be performing a 45 minute teaser show at noon in the ACC Amnity Plaza, and three numbers in the nighttime show.
Giltz Auditorium doors open at 7 pm, and a video montage of PSU students dancing around campus is set to greet the audience as they take their seats. Door prizes and raffle tickets will also be available for audience members to possibly win DVD’s, t-shirts, iTunes gift cards, and more.