Hip-Hip Coalition set to take over Vista Dome for TWENTY anniversary

The event will feature various hip-hop dance performances by the organization

It's been 20 years since the Hip-Hop Coalition was first formed on the grounds of ASU in 1996. Hence, it's probably fitting that the group's anniversary show be titled with style.

TWENTY is an upcoming hip-hop dance showcase set to hit the Vista Dome on Thursday at 6 p.m. The event will see members of the Coalition performing choreographed routines designed by the group’s dance captains, as well as performances from school based and local dance clubs, such as the Swing Devils.

Coalition president and business senior Leah Tan said that the group's third will feature performances from the past year, both big and small. A DJ will be present to complement the events and merchandise on-hand. Fan interaction will be a part of the show as well by inviting audience members to perform alongside them.

As a two-year veteran of the Coalition, Tan said she auditioned into the level-two side of the group her freshman year, and became president a year after. She says that TWENTY is meant to show the students what the Coalition has been up to.

“It’s a fun get-together to celebrate what the Hip-Hop Coalition did throughout the year,” she said. “It’s our version of a recital.”

As far as dances go, the group’s style within the vein of the genre changes depending on the choreography. Dancers practice classic and old-school hip-hop forms as well as pop-locking and “whaacking,” a style that uses wild hand gestures and posing in time with the music. Tan said that their primary focus, however, was urban dance.

“We used to be more dance team hip-hop based,” Tan said, “But we’re slowly evolving into more of a student organization where a lot of the choreography is created by the students and outside choreographers who are deeply ingrained in the urban culture."

She also said the group's style is not just hip-hop dancing that you see on TV — it’s hip-hop with personal meaning.

Dance education sophomore Mariah Aguilar said she has been with the Coalition for two years and will be performing at TWENTY as a first year dance captain. Aguilar said that she was inspired to join by Audrey Preston, a former member of the team and her mentor. She said that hip-hop has always been her main forte.

“I really wanted to be involved with the (hip-hop) community within the state I was born in,” she said.

Aguilar said that TWENTY means performing in a showcase of culture and community.

“I feel like if it weren’t for the generations before us, we wouldn’t be here," she said. "For that, I’m very appreciative of the community before us, and appreciative of the culture in general, because our team would not be what it is now.”

Criminal justice junior Mady Baumann said she has been with the team for two years and in that time she has learned that the group's shows are meant to be fun, a sticking point with the upcoming showcase.

“Hip-hop is one of those styles where you don’t have to be perfect,” Baumann said. “There’s no stress. We go out there to have fun, and we have all these different things we do, like battles. It’s just fun.”

Business freshman Ashley Atherton said the group is her second family. She also said she feels that the event is to be full of cool vibes and will be great chance to display the group’s talents from the past year.

“Some of us had our weaknesses, and now they’re one of our strengths,” Atherton said. “It’s pretty cool to see that for the final product.”

Business communications freshman and one-year Coalition member Lauren Florendo will be emceeing the event alongside a veteran of the group on Thursday due to a knee injury.

She said she was excited and nervous to host the event, as she had never done something like this before, and she was excited to see her friends perform.

“It’s sad for me because I want to be out there with them,” Florendo said. “But I’m still happy that I can be a part of TWENTY and cheer them on.

Like Atherton, she calls the group family.

“We’re all different, and we all have our special qualities but we all can still come together and have this one thing that we all love and cherish.”

Related links:

Kinesthetic Aesthetics: Coding, orphanages and martial arts influence dance projects of three students

Hip-hop artist Common draws hundreds to MU lecture

Reach the reporter at djulienr@asu.edu or follow @legendpenguin on Twitter

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