Lined up outside the Heights Room, students, parents, alumni, and faculty patiently waited for the Sexual Chocolate Rookie Showcase to open its doors at 6:30 p.m. Seeing that the event’s Facebook page had reached nearly 30,000 people around the Boston and Chestnut Hill area, it was no surprise that nearly 600 people attended the show. Spectators crowded into the Heights Room, finding any space they could—standing in the back, sitting on the floor at the stage’s edge (close enough to smell the sweat). Some people were even standing on chairs outside the room, looking through the doorway. To say it was a popular event is an understatement. With performances from the show’s host, Sexual Chocolate, Boston College’s all-male step team, and seven other dance groups, including Synergy, VIP, Phaymus, Full Swing, Patu, Fuego, and Dance Organization of Boston College, the show attracted a large range of spectators.
On the elevated platform stage that took up the majority of the room, the Sexual Chocolate veterans opened the show with flawless choreography and an energy unmatched by the subsequent performances. In addition to its step performance, Sexual Chocolate introduced itself with comedic flair, performing a comedy skit in which SC’s captains had misplaced their rookies—a plot that was successfully interspersed throughout the show as a means to hype up the Sexual Chocolate rookie finale and to introduce each act. In setting the tone as they did, the Sexual Chocolate veterans promised an unforgettable show—and that’s just what the audience got.
Full Swing opened the show by jumping and jiving—quite literally—to jazz-infused tunes that felt reminiscent of the beloved musical Grease. Dressed in matching blue and white polka-dotted blouses to offset the crisp white dress shirts of their male counterparts, the women of the group seemed more like acrobats than dancers, as they were spun, twirled, and tossed over, under, and around the men. The times when the acrobatics complemented the dancing were few and far between, however. The dancers struggled to keep up with the music, and it became clear that the performers still have some work to do to perfect their act. Nevertheless, their efforts should be and were applauded by many. As one might imagine, swing seems much harder than it looks.
Following Full Swing, Vida de Intensa Pasión’s performance kept the audience’s energy alive as its members salsaed and shimmed in a mesmerizing display of red and black salsa skirts and shoes traveling across the stage. VIP’s performance held its own compared to a performance from BC’s widely known (and loved) Latin dance team, Fuego de Corazón whose performance proved that its performers are talented enough to have mastered its memorable 2016 Showdown Routine from last spring.
That’s not to say that Phaymus, BC’s all-female hip-hop team, whose performance preceded Fuego’s, was anything to sneeze at. The Phaymus rookies killed it, with energy and confidence indistinguishable from a veteran performer, it was clear the Phaymus ladies were not messing around. Its performance hinted at a long year ahead before we are allowed to enjoy the hip-hop battles at this spring’s ALC’s Showdown. In response, Synergy showed off its stuff with a hard-hitting routine following Presenting Africa to You: BC’s African dance group (PATU). PATU placed first in Showdown’s cultural category last spring, so it was no surprise that PATU’s rookies nailed its first performance. It almost seemed like each dance group aimed at showing off the new additions to their teams as if to say, “if you think we’re amazing now, just wait until Showdown.”
Following Synergy, DOBC presented its newbies to the audience with their masterful choreography only matched by each dancer’s clear expertise in her craft. The DOBC rookies were unfazed by a minor technical difficulty in the middle of their performance, dancing on in lieu of a beat to follow. As they say, the show must go on, and so it did.
At last, the moment the audience long awaited, the debut of the Sexual Chocolate rookies. Having been finally “found,” the SC rookies showed the audience why they deserve to be on the popular and highly respected team, proving that step and dance in general are just as hard as they look. If you’re looking forward to following the rookies’ journey in dance, check out the next Sexual Chocolate performance as the opening for the Heightsmen this Friday in Robsham.
As the first annual Rookie Showcase, this show promised that in the years to come, the showcase will stand as the perfect way for the newbies of the BC dance scene to assimilate into the rewarding lifestyle of a student-performer.
Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor