No one in the audience could sit still. Organized chaos took hold of Robsham Theater just before 7:00 p.m. for Boston College’s all-male step team, Sexual Chocolate. The squeals from men and women alike echoed off the walls. Audience members ran to and from their seats dressed as if they were ready for a night out. Technically, they were. The show was no small event—tickets sold out in record time and, with Valentine’s Day coming up, everyone was excited to see what sultry performance the group would give.
A hush fell over the exuberant crowd as the lights dimmed and a video introducing some of the main dancers began to play on the stage’s screen. The audience hyped themselves up as each dancer received resounding cheers. Applause rang out as the video closed and the evening’s emcee, JAM’N 94.5’s featured recording artist/DJ/emcee, Maverik—a.k.a Kahleil Blair, BC ’04 appeared on stage. He started off the night asking the crowd to lift their arms, as if they were at a concert, while breaking into one of his songs. Laughs erupted as the crowd played along and got into the rhythm. Just as the song was halfway over, Kimberly Newton, Synergy’s team captain and MCAS ’18, came out and danced while he sang and rapped to kick the energy up a notch.
As the song concluded, Maverik began to call up former Sexual Chocolate members to the stage. In spotlighting the success that each of these alumni, Maverik tried to illustrate the life-changing power of the step group.
“It’s more than a step team, it’s a brotherhood,” Maverik yelled to the crowd.
Once Sexual Chocolate—past and present—was celebrated, it was time to bring out the featured groups. BC’s African dance group, Presenting Africa to You, kicked off the love-themed showcase with a bang. Beginning sensual and slow, the routines grew more energetic and fun as the numbers progressed. The audience cheered with every beat as the group evoked cultural integrity and passion.
Up next was BC’s hip-hop dance company, Synergy. Their guest performance began with a sassy, all-female dance number to rapper Big Sean’s most recent hit, “Bounce Back.” The male dancers joined the stage for an effortlessly edgy routine followed by a sexy and exciting chair dance set to Ashanti’s “Only You.”
After the crowd’s wild reaction to the featured BC groups, they were ready for the Sexual Chocolate performances to begin. The anticipation built as the show’s theme was set with a large, illuminated quote from Queen Elizabeth I stating, “I do not want a husband who honors me as a queen, if he does not love me as a woman.”
Then, the audience was thrust into Sexual Chocolate’s interspersed universe of drama and dance. In the opening scene, Osamase Ekhator, MCAS ’17, is revealed to have been stranded on an unmarked island after his plane crashes on the way to Beijing. The trip was meant to be a getaway after a breakup to gain some space and clarity. The crash has caused Ekhator to temporarily lose his memory as he meets the “natives,” each of which has bloodied and torn up white t-shirts. This meeting prompted the first dance number. High energy and intense, the number synchronized and uniform, they are flawless in their execution.
Once the dance finished, Ekhator, nicknamed “No Name” due to his amnesia, asked about the origins of the island and how each person got there. There were three main groups of three formed by the Sexual Chocolate dancers: the castaways, the A-Team of military men, and the pirates. The first castaway, Khari King, CSOM ’19, claims to have been a backup dancer for Destiny’s Child who was thrown off the plane during Beyonce’s rageful declaration of a solo career. As he tells this story, it becomes abundantly clear the show was not simply about dance, but about hilarious skits and performances to accompany them. Each dancer’s well-executed comedic timing, slapstick humor, and exaggerative mannerisms proved their acting skills in every scene.
King explained his constant need to dance because of his parents’ neglect and lack of love and approval after his monumental eighth-grade dance competition failure against his dreaded fictional enemy, Riley McGuire. The second castaway, Chris Ferrari, MCAS ’20, a hip-hop music manager, found himself stranded after a plane crash as well. The third castaway Zeke, played by dancer Joe Taveras, MCAS ’18, was a spaced-out hippie who claimed that the “magical island” gave birth to him at the age of 12.
Naturally, the absurdity of the scenario set the stage for even more amusement. Next, the trio of military castaways, The A-Team still working Operation: Never Come Back, were introduced. The squadron was made up of a screaming general named General Admissions and his loyal allies, Private Parts and Major Pain. With their entrance came the next dance routine set to Nelly’s “Here Comes the Boom.”
Finally, the last group, a trio of pirates, was introduced—along with excessive sexual innuendos—as the three were always on a quest for “the booty.” Due to his identity crisis, Ekhator tries to mimic every person he meets in order to find his true place on the island. As he wondered aloud about how to carry on the island’s civilization, all of the groups revealed that there was a queen on the island—its only girl.
Their next intricate dance number highlighted the sounds of the step movements as loud cracks of lightning in the thunderous eruption that was each sequence. Soon after, King presented the idea of searching for a “perfect match” for her to continue civilization on the island.
In this scenario, Ekhator, still “No Name,” took on the role of Island Love Doctor—putting on a wig and pretending to be the queen in an effort to teach these love-lost fools how to approach women. As Ekhator lost his patience due to his students severe incompetence, the audience not only laughed, but also recognized the relatability of the situation. The problems the castaways faced are ones that modern men and women face everyday on their quest for a relationship. For example, the trio of pirates who don’t know how to talk to a woman came to recognize that all they want from women is the “booty”—a play on words to describe the sexually motivated actions of collegiate hook up culture.
As Ekhator attempted to help the A-team’s leader, General Admissions, he realized that the latter refuses to admit that he has emotions. General Admissions’ mental breakdown when Ekhator asks about saying the words “I Love You” sheds light on the common issue of men being too afraid to reveal their true, inner emotions for fear of appearing weak.
Finally, Ekhator approached the castaways and each revealed that they can’t date the queen due to personal issues with love and acceptance—another very real problem that makes men (and women) emotionally unavailable.
As the fantastically comical narrative continued and the group continued with more incredible dance numbers, the true purpose of the story came to light: the queen of the island is Ekhator’s ex, and she broke up with him because he failed to appreciate her, treat her as an equal, and give her the love and respect she deserved. He then realized that he must win her over in order to achieve happiness and true love and, ultimately, escape the island.
Once the queen is revealed, Osamase pleaded for her forgiveness and acceptance, to which she rebuffed him, describing him as “boring” and “passionless.” In order to prove himself worthy, the team finally put the sexual in Sexual Chocolate.
The group’s trademark sensuality began number as hits like “Remind Her” by Eric Bellinger and “Sex with Me” by Rihanna. Transitioning from grinding on stage to the auditoriums’ stairwells, the entire Sexual Chocolate troupe rid themselves of their costumes and ran into the crowd—bringing the choreography to life.
The audience screamed and hollered as they stripped up and down the aisles until they were all on stage in white wifebeaters—which they ripped off and threw into the crowd mid slide—In BC’s very own rendition of Magic Mike.
While the premise of the show promised a Valentine’s Day theme full of OMG moments and funny skits, no audience member could have expected to have walked out of Robsham having learned a valuable lesson. In the midst of plane crashes, identity crises, and dance routines, Sexual Chocolate illustrated that women and men both deserve a storybook romance along with equality and respect.
Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor