I have only two words to describe the “Growing up in Hip Hop” Indulgence spring show this past Saturday: holy crap.
For those who are unaware, Indulgence is a hip-hop dance group on campus run by the Black Students’ Union. I remember seeing them perform in the diversity showcase during Orientation and in After Hours’ fall show, but I was not prepared for how blown away I would be by an entire hour and a half of pure Indulgence.
The show was split into themed parts, with solo interludes by Indulgence members, and three guest performances including Ma’frisah, Xclusive Step Team, and Evolution. I thought the layout was well thought out for costume changes, theme changes, and keeping the audience on its toes. The videos and mini skits that began each segment also helped give you a bird’s-eye view into the personalities of the members as well as the feel of the group in general.
Part of Indulgence’s mission is to not only expose people to the enjoyment of the dance genre but also to hip-hop music. Let me just say: I hate almost all hip-hop music. It is difficult for me to find music in this genre that I enjoy, and though they used many songs I have never heard as well as music I already deemed I didn’t like, I fell in love with every single song because of the performance they added to it.
Nearly every member was responsible for the choreography of at least one song and I was incredibly impressed. Hip-hop is one of the more difficult genres in not only skill set but also in the diversity of movement. Every dancer brought their own feeling, flavor, and passion to each piece, and if I’m being completely honest, with the feel of the dancers and the audience, you couldn’t help but want to jump up there and join them.
Ma’frisah is a dance group that combines traditional and modern moves to promote West African culture. Though they only could perform a few songs, I thought it was a wonderful addition to the show. You could really feel the culture in the passion they put into their performance. Xclusive Step Team is the only non Greek affiliated step team on campus that does a phenomenal job at exposing campus to a dance style that literally shakes you to your core. Their performance was powerful, loud, and rhythmic, and it was evident they love what they do. Evolution is an off-campus group comprised of kids from the Rochester area who are a part of a program to keep children involved in productive activities. Anyone you ask will say that these kids were a definite highlight of the night; you could tell they were having a blast and the audience went nuts with support for their killer moves and their contagious attitudes.
I must admit I was worried for a second or two that there wouldn’t be a large showing of people, considering it was held in Strong Auditorium at 8 p.m. on a Saturday. I was wrong. They sold out with one of the most invested, supportive, and entertaining crowds I have had the pleasure of being a part of. Most often, you sit as an audience member and silently enjoy what is being presented to you, whether it be singing, dancing, acting, or all of the above; however, there is a time or two when you become a part of an atmosphere that is so full of love, admiration, and adoration for everything the performance stands for that there is not a silent human to be found. This was my favorite part about the show in general, and it also made me realize that without an environment like that, the show would’ve been much different.
This show not only gave me a newfound appreciation for hip-hop culture in general but also was an amazing display of diversity and culture on campus.