Infusion, the highly anticipated intercollegiate dance competition was held Saturday night in Eisenhower Auditorium. This competition allowed colleges and universities nationally to compete for a $3,000 cash prize and bragging rights for the national competition. After months of hard work and preparation, these teams showcased their varied talents through a wide range of dance styles such as Bollywood, Bhangra, Hip-Hop, and more.
This competition year South Asian singer Jay Sean was featured as the guest speaker of the evening. Along with this, There were seven judges for this competition who each specialized in different dance forms. Each of the judges names and dance specialization will be summarized below.
Bilal Ali: Bhangra
Devika Dhawan: Hip-Hop, Bollywood and Bharatnatyam
Gaurav Gulati: Hip-Hop
Manav Gulati: Bollywood, Hip-Hop and Bhangra
Nilang Vyas: Garba Ras, Bhangra, Bollywood, and Hip-Hop
Nina Kottakuzhiyil: Classical, Bollywood, and Zumba
Nubia Santos: Traditional and International Dance Forms
Once the judges were introduced, Penn State’s South Asian Choir sang both the National Anthem of the United States as well as India’s anthem. After, this Penn State’s own freestyle Hip-Hop group R.A.M Squad, performed and warmed the crowed for the dance groups.
To begin the competition, The University of Texas – Dallas’s Sharara was up first. Their theme for this competition was Toy Story themed. They featured clever voiceovers and intricate costumes to fit the creative scenes. Next was Wayne State’s Warrior Jhatka, whose these was a dramatic Army related patriotic dance. They featured colorful costumes and backdrops. Following this was last years champions, Broad Street Baadshahz from Philidelphia, PA. Their theme was based off the movie, “The Pursuit of Happiness”, which had a great mix of music, extravagant backdrops as well as creative use props.
Next was Chicago’s ADAA, whose theme was focused around a South Asian princess that was determined to end her mother’s destruction of the neighboring villages. Their set featured a great music mix as well as beautiful costumes. Up next was Boston University’s Jalwa, whose theme was about finding your own passion and acting on it. There were three college students who were each in the College of Engineering at Boston University, but they each had different passions they discovered throughout the performance. Their set also featured beautiful costumes as well as great use of props.This was followed by a 15-minute intermission. After this, the competition resumed with a performance by State College Kids Dance. This was an adorable set that featured adorable South Asian children from State College and amazing outfits.
Following the children’s performance, The University of Texas at Dallas’ Chalak was up next. Their theme was based around a Father who was ready to leave his multi-million dollar business to his son, however, his daughter was trying to prove that she was just as capable as her brother. This featured gorgeous costumes, creative backdrops and a great music mix. Next up was Drexel’s Jhalak, whose performance was based around Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education. After this performance, the University of Georgia’s ASURA was next. Their theme was centered around the FOX T.V Show, “Empire”, which has two siblings fighting for their mother’s approval to become the head of Empire. Last up, was Rutger’s S.A.P.A, whose theme was a transgender story based around the movie “Inside Out”.
Once all of the teams performed, Jay Sean came back out and spoke to the crowd about what is has been like being the most popular South Asian performer to make it big in America. He provided a lot of tips for those in the crowd and left with encouraging advice for everyone. After this, the crowd was polled to determine which group would win the award for best mix, best costume and best theme. Once this was finished, All of the dancers were gathered back on the stage where the six awards were presented. The winners were as follows:
Best Mix: Broad Street Baadshahz
Best Costumes: Rutger’s S.A.P.A
Best Theme: Drexel’s Jhalak
Third Place: Rutger’s S.A.P.A
Second Place: Broad Street Baadshahz
First Place: Boston University Jalwa
In closing, this event was definitely something everyone should put on their to-do list before they graduate. It was full of amazing music, beautiful clothing and creative ideas and backdrops, and I mean, who doesn’t want to hear Jay Sean speak?
Photo Credit: Kevin Abrokwah