Local Seattle talent was in full display on Seattle Pacific’s campus this weekend.
In front of a large crowd surrounding an elevated center stage, hip hop duos battled it out at Ante Up’s second-ever Dance Battle of The Year on Friday, March 4.
SPU’s hip hop club organized the first battle that won “Event of the Year” in 2015.
Senior Reija DeShazo had the chance to perform for the first time in two years with the Ante Up crew in between the semi-finals and finals.
“Dance has always been a big part of my life, so watching how excited the audience was to be there was awesome,” DeShazo said. “You could tell everyone was having a good time.”
Ante Up core displayed energy and passion throughout the event once again.
“We were in a room of very talented people who broke out dancing at any second,” DeShazo explained. “Ante Up accepted me immediately and dancing with them has been such a privilege.”
The president of Ante Up, junior Samantha Stevens, ran around the room to make sure everything went as planned while other members of Ante Up core worked as extensions of her.
With all the hard work that went into making the event, Ante Up brought back the event that gave students yet another night to remember.
Doors opened at 7:30 p.m. to welcome eager students and dancers to Upper Gwinn for the event.
Throughout the night there was an emphasis on local talent. The competitors and dance groups who performed hailed from the Seattle area.
Between each round, competitors were given a break while local groups, The Ladies and Groove Clan, performed choreographed sets.
The battle was set up in partners, where two groups of dancers made up the dance on the spot in response to the music live DJs play.
Two groups duked it out at a time. Each dancer had 30 seconds to let their energy loose through freestyle.
Body isolation movements and break dance moves received gasps and cheers from the crowd.
Some dancers became a little frisky with their opponents, dancing on them during their allotted 30 seconds.
The groups stayed true to their own style and take on hip-hop throughout the performances which allowed many performers to execute stunts flawlessly.
The performances engaged the crowd into Seattle’s growing hip hop scene. Raffles and Instagram contests were scattered throughout as well.
The crowd’s reaction fed the dancers’ energy, while the judges’ ruling decided who moved to the next level.
The judges, Ben Vo, Colleen Pele’, and Kaku Brothers brought their own expertise and background in hip hop dance to the table.
After three rounds, the hip hop duo Imperials rose to the top and were pronounced the winners.
“To see the progress in the scene brings me happiness,” Vo said after the event.
“I respect each and every performer for expressing themselves,” he added.
DeShazo echoed this sense of belonging within the dance community.
“Each dancer has respect for the other and everyone’s craft is individualized to them,” DeShazo said. “Overall, it was a blast to perform, appreciate other talent and watch my friends enjoy something I’ve always loved.”