The Residence Halls Association sponsored the first-ever Mizzou’s Best Dance Crew on Monday night at Jesse Auditorium.
A spinoff of MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew,” the show is a competition among MU dance teams to win money for charity.
Participating teams were Main Attraction, Mizzou Competitive Dance Team, OFFICIAL and Kaot!x.
The teams ranged in size and experience. MCDT, the winner of the competition, formed this year and featured freshman and sophomore women. Main Attraction was founded in 2008 and includes women of all years. Kaot!x was a six-member troupe and OFFICIAL was a diverse group of roughly 15 members.
The teams represented local and national charities Dream Outside the Box, Mizzou Relay for Life, Invisible Children and Love Inc.
Seniors Emily Moon, Alyssa Mahlburn and Whitney Williams, who all have a background in dance, judged the performances. The winner was selected based on costume, music, synchronization, group cohesion and how the team worked the charity into its performance.
MCDT opened with a modern dance performance in support of Mizzou Relay for Life. The inspiration for the dance came from one of the dance team members who recently lost her mother to breast cancer. Although new, MCDT has already won a first-place award at the Mizzou Rockin’ Against Multiple Sclerosis competition and participated in the Delta After Dark Talent Show.
After MCDT was Kaot!x, a small dance team competing for Invisible Children. The team chose to include several different types of dance into its routine, such as salsa, hip-hop and modern, to reflect the diversity of the dance crew members. Kaot!x also performed at Mizzou’s India Nite this year.
Main Attraction went third, performing strictly hip-hop dance to mixes of Drake, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and the like. The crew wanted to raise money for Dance Outside the Box, a sector of Mizzou’s own Dream Outside the Box organization. Main Attraction strives to incorporate professionalism and community outreach into its agenda as well as dance.
Hip-hop dance crew OFFICIAL wrapped up the night’s performances. OFFICIAL’s charity of choice was Love Inc., a local charity that provides underprivileged families with basic services and resources to get back on their feet. According to the team’s page on the Mizzou Recreation Complex website, OFFICIAL “strives to express the unique Asian American experiences of its members through dance.”
After deliberation from the judges and a break dance showdown on stage between individuals on different teams, Mizzou Competitive Dance Team was announced the winner of the night. The other competitors’ charities will each receive a $50 donation from RHA.
The team danced to “Never Alone” by Jim Brickman and Lady Antebellum.
“I used to dance, and I have worked with nonprofits my whole life,” event coordinator Makayla Jackson said. “I know how much they depend on donations. It takes a lot of money to keep the lights on and the water running, and when they can’t even do that they can’t provide services to people.”
Jackson said dancing for yourself is one thing, but to dance for a cause evokes a much stronger feeling.
“It’s nice to have something to dance for,” she said. “I think you dance harder when you’re dancing for something other than yourself.”
Whether Mizzou’s Best Dance Crew will become a yearly event is up to RHA members in coming years. Jackson said she hopes it will. After pointing to elementary-school-age children running around on stage after the show she said the event was put on for them.
“That’s who we’re doing it for,” she said. “For the future dancers.”