Dancers are underrated. They put in just as much hours into training like all other athletes of other competitive sports, sometimes even more if they find extra time and an appropriate venue. The most admirable thing about dancers is that they’re limitless; they do their best to learn different styles, teach their teammates, and come up with one solid piece.
The Philippines is no stranger to the dance competition scene, having been represented on the global stage like Hip Hop International and World of Dance (not to mention winning in these competitions). Meanwhile, collegiate dancers are given a chance to represent their universities at the UAAP Streetdance Competition, where dancers get an opportunity to go beyond people’s expectations.
One of the best things about the UAAP Streetdance Competition, this year’s edition held last March 23 at the Araneta Coliseum, is that they do not have any central theme, allowing all participating schools to perform their own creativity. The many ideas that they can think of and bring to the stage (or in this year’s case, the court) only continue to amaze audiences young and old.
In the Juniors division, some went with classic themes such as UPIS BLK’s 2000s hip-hop routine and NU Nazareth School Underdawgz’ camouflage costumes (as inspired by the clothes in the Mad Max film series). De La Salle Zobel were the only representatives that fielded an all-girls team, seemingly apt for International Women’s Month, while the Ateneo de Manila University were absent – only their seniors CADs joined, donning jail attires and performing prison life.
The Seniors division had even more variety of themes with the UE Street Warriors clad in varying rock bands as they danced to rock songs from decades, like Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” and Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me with Your Best Shot.” Three-time champion UP Streetdance Club heated up the Coliseum with their summertime performance, while defending champion FEU Dance Company Street Alliance went with the classic military theme but still presented one of the day’s most powerful performances.
Some of the stand-out themes this year was the UE Street Varsity’s video-game inspired performance, feeling very retro ala Street Fighter (or Warrior?). Both representatives from UST went for school spirit – Galvanize (champions from the first Juniors competition last year) gained inspiration from the school’s drumline the Yellow Jackets, while Prime jumped from gold to red as the Wildcats from High School Musical (well tigers are wild cats too).
Due to the success of 2018’s Bohemian Rhapsody, the NU Underdawgz used the titular song for their performance, even going as far as dressing up as Freddie Mercury right down to the iconic moustache. UE had Bohemian Rhapsody among their rock songs too, but three-time champion LSDC-Street did a Queen medley as they donned Mercury-inspired attires, flashed by their green and black.
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